Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Tuesday assured the family members of Captain Sunil James, Indian sailor jailed in Togo, he will try and get him released at the earliest so that he is able to perform the last rites of his 11-month-old son Vivaan, who passed away last week.

The Prime Minister gave the captain’s wife Aditi, her sister Anvi, Anvi’s husband Rakesh Mahadappa and Congress MP from Mumbai (North) Sanjay Nirupam a patient hearing for about 10 minutes, and explained what the government was doing to secure the release of James.

The 36-year-old sailor has been in a Togo jail since July. He was arrested on charges of aiding pirates after his ship MT Ocean Centurion was attacked near Togo on July 16.

Mr. Mahadappa said Dr. Singh deputed a Joint Secretary in his office, Javed Ashraf, to coordinate with the Indian mission in Ghana to secure James’s release.

“Since India does not have an embassy in Togo, Second Secretary in the Indian High Commission in Ghana Satish Sakhleshpur has gone to Togo’s capital Lome from Accra and is coordinating with the authorities there,” Mr. Mahadappa said. The mission official first interacted with the Togo government and the Justice Minister on December 6.

Vivaan died of septicaemia on December 2.

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