The family Sunil James, captain of a merchant ship who is in jail in the African nation of Togo since July, is hoping that the Indian government will get him back to Mumbai to perform his toddler’s last rites. Captain James lost his 11-month-old son Vivaan on December 2.
“I won’t be able to face him if I perform the last rites,” said his brother Rakesh Madappa. “He should get a chance to see his son one last time.”
Minister of State for Shipping Milind Deora is pressing for a resolution. “I have asked Director General of Shipping to help Captain James secure parole after speaking with his employer,” Mr. Deora told The-Hindu.
An employee of Accord Marine Management Pvt. Ltd, Captain James had set sail from Mumbai in April. While sailing through the coast of Western Africa, the ship was attacked by pirates. After reaching the coast of Togo, he informed the authorities of the incident. However, he and two other crew members were arrested on charges of aiding the pirates. “We were hoping that Sunil will return to celebrate Vivaan’s first birthday on December 12. But now we want him to return to perform his last rites,” said Mr. Madappa.
Captain James, who had spent barely four months with his son, was informed of his death in Togo.