Mass protest by fishermen: Govt pressurized to locate missing fishermen


Team Udayavani, Jan 6, 2019, 11:35 AM IST

Udupi: A massive protest taken out from Malpe port on Sunday Jan 6th and joined in by the fishermen from the three coastal districts got together at Ambalpady for a public meeting on national highway 66.

The memorandum from the fishermen association was received by the district in charge minister Dr Jayamala who then said, “We always there with the aggrieved families. Their pain is my pain. Seven fishermen disappeared means it is not a usual incident. Right from the FIR, all departments have done their best. I was speechless in front of their family when I met them. Do not think that the government is neglecting the interests of fishermen,” she said trying to convince the protestors that the government is not neglecting them.

“I have huge faith in God and I will pray to Him for the fishermen to reach home safely. I did not give any statement to media in the beginning but I put my best effort. I personally called the concerned departments and local leaders to keep me updated every day. The state government is committed and will give any kind of support and help. Do not isolate the governments. Let both the union and state government work together. We will approach military force to intensify the search operation. We will ask the help of union government. The fishermen see more struggle than farmers. Now the government has increased the compensation amount to Rs 6 lakh. The government will make all efforts to bring back those seven people safely. Hence, we will use advanced technology,” she assured.

Speaking at the protest, MP Shobha Karandlaje said, “After 10 days of the boat going missing, I got the information. I also communicated with defence minister Nirmala Sitaraman and union home minister Rajnath Singh immediately. We also met Maharashtra government. Rathnagiri and Sindhudurg is said to be a dangerous place. I had learnt that fishermen were kept like hostage in the past over there. The union government will put all efforts. I will make arrangements to hold a meeting with union fisheries ministry. The all naval force and coastal security are ready to lend any kind of help and we will continue the same effort.”

“For the first time, the fishermen have shown the strength of their community. Union government, state government and media should work together. Let us do a mass prayer for them,” said MLA Raghupati Bhat and urged the government to intensify the search operation.

Former MP Jayaprakash Hegde said, “We still hope that the seven fishermen will return to their homes. We are in constant touch will the central coastal security officer Subaschandra after the incident. We should wait to get result and have some patience.”

Former district in-charge minister Pramod Madhwaraj said, “People have panicked after the incident. I was the first person to inform the chief minister. All SP, DySP and CI of Ratnagiri are working over the issue. If anyone plays politics in this issue, God will not forgive them. Let us fight with any discrimination of caste, religion and party.”

“If any farmer commits suicide, the government will rush to his home and announces lacs of rupees as compensation. But in the case of fishermen, the government shows less interest in addressing their problems. If the same response continues from the state government, people will teach them a lesson in the next election,” said Dr G Shankar of G Shankar Family trust.

Many officials and leaders were present in the programme including Satish Kundar, president of Malpe Fishermen Association, Yashpal Suvarna, president, Dakshina Kannada Fish Sellers’ Federation, Lalaji Mendon, MLA, Kaup, Priyanka Mary Francis, deputy commissioner, Bharat Shetty, MLA, Mangaluru North, Ganapati Mangre, president of Uttara Kannada Fish Federation, Janaradhan Thonse, president of Udupi district Congress, Manohar Boluru, Gundu Amin and fishermen association leaders and members participated in the protest.

Security

To take care of the security issues during the protest, around 400 police officials, 3 KSRP, 6 DR, one Highway patrol, SP, ASP, and DySP were deployed.

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