Kochi

Fishermen thank police for timely support

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Back from Yemen, all 9 fishers return home after legal formalities

After staying back at the Coastal Police station at Fort Kochi overnight as part of a joint interrogation by various agencies and subsequent verification of their identities, the nine fishermen who had reached here after fleeing Yemen left for their homes on Saturday.

Relatives and friends of some of the fishermen had turned up at the station on Saturday even as the formalities for securing their emigration clearances were under way.

“They are Indian fishermen, and they haven’t committed any criminal offence to our knowledge,” said K. Padmakumar, ADGP, Coastal Police.

Once the procedures were over, they went to the Kochi City Police Commissionerate to meet District Police Chief (Kochi City) Vijay Sakhare in the afternoon to express their gratitude for the support extended to them.

“We have registered a case under Section 102 [Any police officer may seize any property which may be alleged or suspected to have been stolen or which may be found under circumstances which create suspicion of the commission of any offence] of the Code of Criminal Procedure [CrPC]. Besides, we will investigate the chain of incidents to verify the accounts they had given to the joint interrogation team and will summon them, if need be,” said Mr. Sakhare.

The registration of the case under Section 102 of the CrPC was at best a basic formality since the boat belongs to someone else and will stand the police on firm ground if and when the country of the owner of the boat takes up the issue with the State.

The boat will be produced in the court from which time it will be a State property.

The fishermen — seven from Tamil Nadu and two from Kerala — were forced to undertake a dangerous expedition across the seas on a vessel stolen from their Yemeni sponsor following “inhuman living and working conditions”. They were escorted to Kochi by the Indian Coast Guard after locating the boat some 75 nautical miles off the Kochi coast in the early hours of Friday.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 11:20:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/fishermen-thank-police-for-timely-support/article30127072.ece

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