Tamil Nadu ‘Q’ Branch police have approached the court here on Tuesday seeking 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, the police sought seven-day custody of a Briton and two Indians. It was posted for hearing on October 23. Among the 35 men held in detention on board the US vessel for illegal possession of weapons and trespassing into Indian waters, F. Paul David Dennish Towers (50), a British national and two Indian nationals, Lalitkumar Gurung (48) of Maharastra and Radheshdar Dwivedi (39) of Uttar Pradesh were produced before the court in Tuticorin amidst tight security. This US vessel was apprehended on October 12 by the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Naikidevi’.
Subsequently, the Tamil Nadu Coastal Security Group, the ‘Q’ Branch police and other investigating agencies had launched probe into the issue. The 10-men crew and 25 guards were arrested by the ‘Q’ Branch police on October 18 and sent to judicial custody until October 31 and all the arrested were lodged in Palayamkottai Central Prison, Tirunelveli.