NAGAPATTINAM:There was a marriage in this house only a few weeks ago. Now, with a couple of days left for the couple to celebrate their ‘Thala Deepavali’, there are no signs of celebrations; it is as if life has drained out of this family. For, Vishwa (18), who ventured into the sea only to raise money for his sister’s marriage, was arrested by the Lankan Navy just three days before the marriage. It has been 47 days since then, but there is no word of his release.
“Though the marriage was held as planned, just 3 days after his arrest, Vishwa’s absence was too painful for us to celebrate the wedding, the first in our family in this generation,” his elder brother N Ranjith (25), also a fisherman, told Express. “We’ve decided not to celebrate Deepavali until he returns,” he adds.
Vishwa is not the only member of the family who has been locked up in Lankan jail. A little away from his house in Nambiyar Nagar is his 45-year-old maternal uncle Balaguru’s house. The mood there is no different, where there is an overwhelming sadness.
When Express visited Balaguru’s house on Saturday, his daughters Anushya (9) and Hasini (6) were playing in front of their house, oblivious to the fact that their father was behind bars, and may not be home for the festival days.
Apart from Balaguru and Vishwa, the Lankan Navy has apprehended as many as 120 fishermen from Ramanathapuram, Pudukkottai, Thoothukudi — 49 from Nagapattinam — since September 22. Their boats, 46 in all, have also been seized.