The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Monday took suo motu cognisance of a report that more than four months after the disappearance of fishing boat 'Suvarna Tribuja', from Udupi in Karnataka, seven fishermen on board are still missing.
"Reportedly, the India Navy stopped the search operation after the wreckage of the vessel was discovered 33 km west-south-west off the coast of Malvan in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra. The boat had left for a deep sea fishing expedition off the coast of Goa on December 16, 2018," the NHRC said in its statement.
The Commission has issued a notice to the Chief Secretary of Government of Karnataka to look into the contents of the media report and take immediate steps to redress the grievances of the relatives and family members of the missing fishermen.
A notice has also been issued to the Union Defence Secretary to inform the Commission about the latest update or status of the search operation, made in the meantime, by the Indian Navy in the deep sea for the recovery of seven missing fishermen. Both the reports have to be submitted within six weeks.
Issuing the notices, the Commission observed that the disappearance of seven fishermen, who went deep into the sea for fishing is a serious concern.
"The news report, carried on May 3, also stated that the Indian Navy confirmed that it is also reported that the wreckage was found by INS Nireekshak, a diving support vessel of the Indian Navy through side scan sonar operations," the Commission said.
It added: "The wreckage was confirmed by naval divers who drove to a depth of 60-metre. The news report further suggested that the fishing boat with seven fishermen on the boat had left the coast of Goa which had made the last contact with six other boats from Udupi, which were also fishing off the coast of Goa on the morning of December 16, 2018. Thereafter, the boat and fishermen were untraceable."
"The news report has also given the details of the name of the men on the boat which included Chandrashekar who owned the boat along with six others -- Damodar, Lakshman, Sathish, Ravi, Harish, and Ramesh. The search team found three canisters from the sea in the month of December and thereafter there was no further trace of the ship," the Commission said.
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