KANNIYAKUMARI: The South Asian Fishermen Fraternity [SAFF] has demanded legal measures against the Indonesian government for the alleged murder of Kanniyakumari fisherman Maria Jesindhas during his detention. In a memorandum submitted to the district collector, SAFF said Maria Jesindhas and seven other fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Kerala were arrested by the Indonesian police on 7 March 2022 on the grounds that the fishers ventured into the Indonesian sea while being involved in deep sea fishing in the Andaman.
"The eight fishermen started sail on 17 February 2022 from Port Blair Fisheries Harbour on their boat 'Blessing'. The arrested fishermen were detained at Ditpolairud Air and Sea Police Station at Ach in Indonesia. Later, we came to know they were detained in an Indonesian jail and suffered without proper food and medical care. Four of the eight crew members were released and others were kept in jail. It was said Maria Jesindhas died in the hospital due to sickness," read the memo.
SAFF alleged the body was sent to Chennai without registering an FIR and conducting the postmortem, raising suspicions that the fisher must have been murdered in Indonesia. The family registered a complaint at Nitravilai Police Station in Kanniyakumari on 23 May.
"After five month, the postmortem report confirmed apprehensions that Maria Jesindhas did not die due to illness. We demand the Government of India to approach the International Court of Justice against the government of Indonesia and initiate steps for the release of the remaining three Indian fishermen immediately. A solatium of `1 crore should be given to the family of Jesindhas," added SAFF.
The remaining three fishermen--Immanuel Jose, (29) of Poothurai, Joymon (24) and Shijin (29) from Kerala-- have been detained for nine months in Indonesia. A copy of the memorandum has sent to the External Affairs Minister of India, Minister for Law and Justice of India, Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu and the Commissioner of National Human Rights, New Delhi.