Fish workers seek arrest of captain
Fish workers staged a dharna in front of the Secretariat on Tuesday
demanding the arrest of the captain of Enrica Lexie, the Italian oil
tanker that fired on an Indian fishing vessel killing two fishermen on
Addressing the dharna, leaders of the Kerala Swathantra Matsya
Thozhilali Federation and the Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal
Fishermen, Kanyakumari, called upon the government to drop the move to
release the Italian ship impounded at Kochi.
Federation president T. Peter who inaugurated the sit-in flayed the
decision to spare the captain and arrest the two Italian marines who
had allegedly fired at the Indian fishermen.
He said fish workers would organise an agitation at sea and on land
demanding the arrest of the captain.
Pointing out that the incident had sent shock waves through the
fishermen community, the leaders urged the government to ensure their
safety at sea.
They demanded better compensation for the victims of the firing and
intensive patrolling of the territorial waters by the Indian Navy,
Coast Guard and Marine Enforcement wing. Vincent Jain, chief executive
of the Kanyakumari-based association addressed the dharna.
The fish workers earlier took out a march from the Martyr’s Column to
the Secretariat gates.
Arrest captain: fish workers
Fishermen’s organisations have urged the government to arrest the
captain of the Italian oil tanker that had fired upon an Indian
fishing vessel killing two men on board.
Addressing a press conference here on Monday, leaders of the Kerala
Swathantra Matsya Thozhilali Federation and the Association of Deep
Sea Going Artisanal Fishermen, Kanyakumari, called on the government
to hold the Italian ship impounded.
They said similar incidents of foreign vessels firing upon Indian
fishermen had occurred at Rameswaram, Thuthur, Poovar, and Vizhinjam.
“While Indian fishing craft have the right to operate in territorial
waters up to 200 nautical miles from the coast, foreign vessels travel
25 miles close to the coast, often violating international laws.
Several catamarans and small boats have been damaged in collisions
with the ships, fishermen have been killed, and their fishing
equipment ruined,” said T.Peter, president, KSMTF, and Vincent Jain,
Chief Executive of the Association of Deep Sea Going Artisanal
They alleged that the Indian Navy, Coast Guard, and Marine Enforcement
wing had failed to prevent such incidents and ensure the safety of
fishermen at sea. “Fishermen are afraid to venture out to sea. They
are concerned about their safety.”
The organisations called on the State and Central governments for
urgent measures to restore the confidence of fishermen. They demanded
intensive patrolling at sea and adequate compensation for the families
of the victims.
Fish workers will stage a dharna before the Secretariat on Tuesday to
highlight the demands
Latin Catholics express concern
Thursday, February 23, 2012
The Latin Catholic community has expressed concern at reports that
Cardinal Mar George Alencherry, Major Archbishop of the Syro-Malabar
Church, has expressed interest in “mediating and seeking a peaceful
settlement” to the row over the killing of two Indian fishermen by
Italian marines on board an Italian oil tanker .
Two marines from the ship had been arrested and remanded in connection
with the killings.
Mar Alencherry reportedly made the statement from Rome on Tuesday in
an interview to Fide s , the information service of the Pontifical
The Latin Catholic community is apprehensive that the Archbishop’s
statement will weaken the case against the marines arrested under
Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code. Though there has been no open
protest, news reports about the Cardinal’s statement have become a
talking point in the Kollam Latin Catholic diocese.
A member of the community who did not wish to be quoted told The Hindu
that may be the Cardinal failed to realise that the fishing community
at Moothakara was Catholic. Valentine, one of the dead fishermen,
hailed from the fishing hamlet at Moothakara.
Dora, wife of Valentine, alleged that attempts were being made to
whisk the ship away from Kochi. “We are more apprehensive when
religious leaders make statements that facilitate such a move,” she
(In a petition submitted to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Wednesday,
she alleged that facts and figures in the First Information Report
prepared by the Neendakara Coastal Police Station in connection with
the killing of her husband by the marines had been manipulated in
favour of the accused. She requested that the prosecution team for the
case should be those she could trust, alleging efforts to let the
marines go scot-free.)
It seemed that the Cardinal was taking sides with the killers of his
father, her son, Derrick, 17, said.
President of the Kerala Independent Fish Workers Federation T. Peter
said the Cardinal called for “peaceful settlement” without even
condemning the killing of the fishermen or condoling their deaths. He
said the Cardinal not only insulted the fishing community but also
Indians as a whole.
Mr. Peter said the Cardinal should withdraw the statement. He said the
federation would organise protests if the Cardinal did not withdraw