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Updated: March 14, 2012 09:31 IST

Kerala police arrest Prabhu Daya's Captain

N. Anand
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Prabhu Daya's captain Gordon Charles Pereira.
Photo: Special Arrangement Prabhu Daya's captain Gordon Charles Pereira.

He will be produced before Judicial Magistrate in Ambalapuzha

The Kerala police on Tuesday arrested Gordon Charles Pereira, Captain of m.v. Prabhu Daya — the vessel suspected to be involved in a mid-sea collision with a fishing trawler off the Kerala coast on March 1 that led to the death of five fishermen.

Though informed sources said Captain Pereira was kept under house arrest in the vessel on Monday, he was brought to the shore on Tuesday. After completing immigration formalities, the Kerala police team led by its Inspector-General, Ernakulam range, K. Padmakumar, left for Ambalapuzha to produce Mr. Pereira before a Judicial Magistrate. The Chief Officer was named captain of the vessel.

2 held so far

With this, the number of persons arrested by the Kerala police has risen to two. Virendra Kumar Chauhan, another person accused in the hit-and-run case, was arrested on March 8 and detained in judicial custody.

Expressing its views for the first time after the incident, the owner of Prabhu Daya, Tolani Shipping (Singapore) Pte Ltd, said it was working with the authorities in establishing the truth.

Condolences

While offering condolences to the families of the deceased, the injured fisherman and the owner of the fishing vessel, a company statement said it had ordered the vessel to return to Chennai and to fully cooperate with the Indian authorities, though the vessel was flying a Singapore flag and was “well outside Indian waters at the time.”

Regarding the allegation that Second Officer Prasobh Sugathan was thrown overboard after the vessel was diverted to Chennai, the statement said: “This runs completely contrary to the signed sworn statement that he gave to the Sri Lankan police following his rescue and landing at Trincomalee… We take such allegations very seriously and will conduct a full internal enquiry.”

Meanwhile, the Mercantile Marine Department (MMD), Chennai, sent the recovered material such as fishing net, a rope strand and a paint sample to its Kochi counterpart for forensic examination along with data downloaded from the Voyage Data Recorder.

The focus of the probe now shifts to Kochi. The MMD Kochi will prepare the final report and submit it to the Directorate-General of Shipping for further action.

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