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Kin of 'missing' Indian seamen demand CBI, Interpol probe
October 19, 2005 20:32 IST
With fresh cases of Indians mysteriously disappearing on the high seas emerging almost every day, relatives of some of them came together Wednesday to demand investigation by the Central Bureau or Investigation or Interpol into how their loved ones had gone missing.
"Our problem is to determine the jurisdiction of the cases. The police tell us to go to the places where our children went missing and register cases. Where do we go if someone has gone missing in the middle of an ocean," asked Zaheer Zaidi, whose 23-year-old son Hasan had disappeared from a ship sailing from Karachi in Pakistan to Mombasa in Kenya.
While the shipping company had claimed on October 13 that Hasan committed suicide, Zaidi said, "This is out of the question for a youth who has excelled in sports and lived life to the fullest. I am sure he was murdered because he had stumbled on some drug-trafficking racket."
At a press conference called by Zaidi in New Delhi, other relatives of missing seamen also narrated heart-rending accounts and claimed that the government had done next to nothing to help them.
Nidhi Mallik, whose brother Gautam (27) disappeared from his ship anchored in a port in Lithuania on October 9, said there was a "deep conspiracy" behind the matter.
"The captain of his ship first claimed that he had accidently drowned, but later said he may have illegally entered the port," Mallik said.
"Gautam had spoken to his fiancee only 15 minutes before he allegedly disappeared, and sounded cheerful. There is also no question of his drowning in port as he is an expert swimmer," she added.