Defer plans to barricade entry/exit at Chennai Port to protest inaction in case of missing fisherman
Fisherfolk protesting the authorities’ inaction over a missing fisherman have deferred their plans to block Chennai Port by a day.
On Saturday, Anandan (45) of Tiruvottiyur Kuppam went missing in the sea off Chennai coast after a ship heading to the Port hit the fishing boat in which he was stranded due to engine failure.
On Sunday, the police asked the fishermen to defer their strike as they had zeroed in on suspect vessels. “The ship has to be checked for signs that it hit the boat. The police have asked for one more day,” said M.D. Dayalan of the Indian Fishermen’s Association.
Two other fishermen, R. Viji (30) and S. Santhosh (19), who were with Anandan in the boat (TN 01 FR PC 1503) but managed to swim to safety, were questioned by the police on Sunday.
“I haven’t eaten much since yesterday. I don’t feel like it,” said Santhosh.
On Saturday, after filing a complaint with the police, he went to the hospital to treat pain in his knee and back. “We got hurt in the accident. We didn’t think we would survive. We swam for around two hours,” he said.
Villagers from fishing hamlets, right from Kattukuppam to Nalla Thanneer Odai Kuppam in Tiruvallur, had called for blocking the entry/exit point to the Port on Monday after the authorities failed to give them a proper response on action taken.
S. Shankar of Tiruvottiyur Kuppam, Anandan’s neighbour, said photographs of the missing fisherman had been circulated in the neighbouring hamlets. “We sent letters asking them to join the strike. But now, we have called it off. We will arrive at a decision only on Monday,” he said.
Madhavan of Nalla Thanneer Odai Kuppam said the fishing community was angry over the state of affairs.
“The N4 Kasimedu police asked us to approach the harbour police initially. Their approach towards the issue is very lackadaisical. We have been searching for the missing person for the past two days. Ships have navigational systems and radars that can sense any kind of movement or objects in the sea. Why did they not employ it in this case?” he said.