A local court here on Thursday granted five days’ police custody of three crew members of the detained US ship – Seaman Guard Ohio for interrogation.

In a petition filed before Judicial Magistrate C. Kathiravan in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch police sought seven-day custody of a Briton and two Indians.

After hearing arguments from both sides, he ordered the police custody.

F. Paul David Dennish Towers (50), a British national and two Indian nationals, Lalitkumar Gurung (48) of Maharashtra and Radheshdar Dwivedi (39) of Uttar Pradesh were produced before the court in Tuticorin amidst tight security.

At the fag end of the hearing in the court room, one of the crew members tried to catch the attention of media personnel saying, “Please, don’t write anything without knowing the truth.”

The three men, whose custody had been sought for investigation, are among the 35 men held in detention on board the US vessel for illegal possession of weapons and trespassing into Indian waters.

Police sources said that a breakthrough was expected to be achieved from this interrogation.

The US vessel was apprehended on October 12 by the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Naikidevi’.

After seizing arms and ammunition on board the vessel, the 10-man crew and 25 guards were arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch police on October 18 and sent to judicial custody until October 31.

The vessel, which has been remaining in detention, is still under guard at V.O. Chidambaranar Port in Tuticorin.

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