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High drama at sea, fishermen try to storm oil rig

K.N. Murali Sankar
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Allege that the onshore operations of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation are affecting their livelihood

LIVELIHOOD ISSUES: Fishermen staging a protest in the sea near Bhairavapalem against the operations of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation rig. — Photo: Special Arrangement
LIVELIHOOD ISSUES: Fishermen staging a protest in the sea near Bhairavapalem against the operations of Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation rig. — Photo: Special Arrangement

Tension prevailed for some time in the sea near here, when fishermen from 63 hamlets tried to lay siege to a rig belonging to the Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) in 500 boats on Monday.

Defying prohibitory orders, the fishermen gathered in good numbers here in the morning before venturing into the sea.

They alleged that the onshore operations of the GSPC were affecting their livelihood and officials despite representations, did nothing to address their concerns. At 7 a.m., all the boats with four to five fishermen on board each were on their way to the rig named ‘Deen Dayal.'

They took up this novel protest after a relay hunger strike for 40 days.

They have now decided to stage a ‘major agitation' to bring their problems to the notice of the GSPC and the government.

They formed a Joint Action Committee and raised funds to purchase diesel for the mechanised boats, besides taking an oath not to go for daily fishing but to participate in the agitation.

When the boats came close to an onshore rig belonging to the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, before moving towards ‘Deen Dayal,' the Coast Guard Station and the Marine Police prevented them from moving ahead.

Assurance

Sensing trouble, representatives of the GSPC entered the scene and assured the fishermen that a meeting would be convened on November 18 to sort out the matter. The venue of the meeting, however, had to be finalised. Former Minister from Yanam Malladi Krishna Rao and Mummidivaram MLA P.V. Satish Kumar, who led the fishermen, said they would take the issue to the notice of the Prime Minister. The fishermen returned by noon in an elated mood.


  • Fishermen from 63 hamlets venture out in 500 boats
  • Take up the novel protest after relay fast for 40 days


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