Jarjana Sankara Rao, a 26-year-old mariner from Andhra Pradesh was brought to the Indian high commission in Abuja by a commission official after being detained in Port Harcourt, Nigeria for 17 months owing to the fact that his vessel, MT Apecus, entered the country’s waters without proper authorization.
“I have been brought to the high commission, but I am yet to know when I can fly out to India and reach home,” Sankara Rao said.
On his flight to Abuja from Port Harcourt, he was accompanied by Sreenivasan Nair, second secretary (consular), says Sankara Rao who comes from Korlam village in Vizianagaram district. After Sankara Rao escaped the clutches of Somalian pirates, he arrived at Bonny Island where his ship was taken over by authorities in April 2019.
A temporary passport was given to him by the high commission after he was brought out of the vessel. Captain Manoj, a community development manager of ‘Sailors Society’ and Social worker from Chennai informed Sankara Rao’s detention.
Another update was given by Mumbai-based social worker Shaheen Sayyed, who got to know from the ship’s captain that Sankara Rao was being handed over to the Indian authorities as he was out on bail. Sayyed arranged food supplies for Sankara Rao, by taking up the matter with the Indian high commission.
Furthermore, International Maritime Federation’s Captain Sanjay Prashar explained in detail the incident that led ship’s seizure to the ministry of external affairs and director-general of shipping along with a plea that the Indian Mariner be allowed to return to his native land. He termed Rao’s arrest as the “criminalization” of seafarers.
Vizianagram sailor Sankara Rao Jarjana was supposed to receive help from the Indian High Commission in Nigeria, after being jailed for illegally entering Nigerian waters after fleeing from Somalian pirates about a year ago. Having been on board since November 23rd, 2018, he is now at the end tethers of his endurance…Click here to read the full story.