VISAKHAPATNAM: At least eight fishermen from here were caught by Coast Guard personnel of Bangladesh when their boat developed a technical snag in the middle of the sea and drifted into the neighbouring country’s waters.
According to sources, the fishermen left from the fishing harbour here for deep-sea fishing off Odisha and West Bengal coast in the boat, Amruta, bearing the registration number IND-AP-V1-MM-1603, on September 24. However, the boat developed a technical problem and got stuck in the mid-sea.
Under the impact of strong winds, the boat drifted towards Bangladesh whose Coast Guard personnel caught the fishermen and took them into their custody.
Vasupalli Appanna, one of the boat crew members, contacted boat owner Vasupalli Ramu and conveyed the news. PC Appa Rao of Visakhapatnam Mechanised Boat Operators Association said the fishermen who are in the custody of Bangladesh Coast Guard include Maurpalli Polayya, Rayati Appanna, Vasupalli Appanna, Marukapalli Narsimma, Barra Ramu, Vasupalli Appanna, Rayati Ramu and Vasupalli Kamulu.
Appa Rao said all the fishermen are safe in the custody of the Bangladesh Coast Guard. “We have approached minister Avanthi Srinivasa Rao, Vizag MP MVV Satyanarayana and MLA Vasupalli Ganesh Kumar to secure release of the fishermen,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Visakahapatnam MP in a statement here said he had written a letter to Union Minister for External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar to initiate steps to bring back the fishermen from Bangladesh. He said the eight fishermen, who are from Thippalavalasa village in Pusapatirega mandal in Vizianagaram district, settled in Visakhapatnam. They were arrested by Bangladesh Coast Guard while they were fishing in Indo Bangladesh border in the Digha port area of West Bengal. Satyanarayana urged the Union minister to secure release of the fishermen.