External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday said government was working to secure release of 41 Indian sailors stuck in merchant ships at Ajman in United Arab Emirates.
Swaraj also said the Indian Embassy in UAE has been directed to ensure that the sailors get essential supplies, adding efforts are on for their release. As per reports, the 41 Indian sailors employed in four merchant ships in the UAE were stranded in four abandoned merchant ships at Ajman anchorage in UAE and that two of the vessels are leaking and faces the danger of sinking.
The owner of the company has allegedly abandoned the sailors who are now struggling for survival. “We have contacted the Captains of the two vessels, Ship owners, port authorities and the Government. They have essential supplies for next two weeks. We are helping in the settlement of their dues and release of the crew. “I have asked the mission to ensure that Indian sailors do not suffer for want of essential supplies,” Swaraj tweeted.
The sailors are from Kerala, Maharashtra, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. On January 6, Swaraj, responding to tweets calling for rescuing the sailors, had promised to resolve the issue. When her attention was drawn to reports of 500 youths from Telangana being stranded in Iraq, Swaraj said the number is much less.
She said all stranded Indians should approach Indian consulate in Erbil.
“I have received the report from Iraq. The number is not 500 but much less. We have repatriated 52 stranded Indian workers. We have requests from 4 more. All stranded workers should approach our Consulate in Erbil. “We request Indian workers not to overstay. The penalty is US$6000 in each case. Please approach the Consulate for repatriation,” she tweeted.