Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, on Tuesday, requested the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the release of 16 Indian sailors, including three Keralites, held hostage in Equatorial Guinea.
In a letter to the Prime Minister Modi, CM Vijayan requested Modi to direct the diplomatic missions in the countries concerned to proactively intervene and facilitate the immediate release of the vessel and its crew.
“Twenty-six seafarers, including 16 Indians, were being held hostage. Three of them are from Kerala. The vessel has been held unlawfully since 14 August,” CM Vijayan said in the letter. He pointed out that the crew of the ship did not engage in any unlawful activities.
The vessel, MT Heroic Idun, had reached Nigeria on August 8 and it was intercepted by the Equatorial Guinea naval ship in international waters and escorted to Luba port. The shipping company paid a fine though they claimed that they did not indulge in any unlawful activities, on September 28. However, the sailors were not released.