A popular action council based at Mapranam in Thrissur district will stage a day’s fast in front of the Secretariat on Thursday demanding that the State and the Union governments take effective steps to obtain the release of 17 Indian citizens, including three Malayalis, who have been abducted and held prisoners by Somalian sea pirates.

K. Muraleedharan, MLA, will inaugurate the dharna. Thomas Unniyadan, MLA, will deliver the keynote address. The Indians were abducted from a cargo container vessel M.T. Royal Grace by the pirates on March 2. In these past nine months, the government had been lax in seeking the release of these persons, the action council said.

Threat from pirates

The council is staging the fast after organising popular rallies and submitting a mass petition to the Prime Minister. The council said that from the information it had received, the pirates had threatened to kill the Indians if they were not given a ransom of Rs.17 crore. The council appealed to the public to lend strength to its demand that the government intervene effectively in the issue.