63 Indian fishermen still stranded in Iran due to lack of space on rescue ship INS Jalashwa

"Now we are on our own and have nowhere to go," says Selvaraj, one of the fishermen, urging the Tamil Nadu government to intervene and help them to get back home.

Published: 29th June 2020 01:55 PM  |   Last Updated: 29th June 2020 02:06 PM   |  A+A-

The fishermen stranded in Iran

Express News Service

CHENNAI: Sixty-three fishermen, including 44 from Tamil Nadu, are still stranded in Iran after they could not board the Indian Navy vessel INS Jalashwa at Bandar Abbas in Iran due to lack of space.

Initially, of the 63 fishermen, 30 were allowed to board the vessel but then the remaining 33 protested by not allowing the vehicle to proceed towards the vessel, said A Selvaraj, a fisherman from Nagercoil district.

Ruing his missed chance, Selvaraj told The New Indian Express from Iran that by the time the issue was defused, they were told the ship was full. "Now we are on our own and have nowhere to go," says Selvaraj urging the state government to intervene and help them to get back home.

The embassy officials have cancelled our visas and we would be termed illegals in the next four to five days as we don't have any valid papers now, says Selvaraj fearing action from the Iranian police.

He said 39 of the fishermen are staying under the custody of their boat owners in Iran as they have no other alternative while the remaining are staying in rooms near the harbour by paying rent.

Stating that embassy officials are deaf to their pleas to make arrangements for them to return home, the stranded fishermen pleaded that the state should intervene through the ministry of external affairs to ensure their return. Embassy officials could not be reached.

These fishermen were part of the 700 fishermen, who had gone to Iran on a contract basis for fishing, and were stranded due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They got visas for the United Arab Emirates from their agents. Since the UAE has an agreement over selling fish caught in Iran in Dubai, these fishermen are hired from there on visit visas by Iranian boat owners. They were left in the lurch as the coronavirus spread in Iran.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp