Daniston was captured by Somali pirates three years back

For the family of 27-year-old seafarer L. Daniston of Punnaikayal, it has been a long, agonising wait.

Daniston, a member of the crew of bitumen tanker vessel M.V. Asphalt Venture, has been held captive by Somali pirates since September 28, 2010, after the ship was hijacked off the Tanzania coast.

The seafarer’s grief-stricken family members have been pleading with the government over the past three years to secure his release but their efforts have been in vain.

“It has been three years and two months since the abduction but no agency seems to be making any effort to free him,” his father S. Litten, said here on Friday. Daniston’s mother who has fallen sick since his abduction has been praying for his release.

Two months ago, he spoke with the family over the phone for just two minutes. “He asked me to seek the intervention of the government to free him,” his father said.

The pirates had been demanding a ransom for his release. With the family’s breadwinner in captivity, his father, a painter, is now forced to work for a pittance.

E. Thennavan, member of the International Labour Federation and a seaman hailing from Punnaikayal, recalled that fishermen staged a hunger strike here on January 6, 2012, and also raised the issue at the fishermen grievance redressal meeting at the Collectorate in December this year.Fishermen have planned to organise a dharna in New Delhi in February.

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