Things are fast deteriorating on the stranded ships carrying Indian seafarers in China as more and more seafarers’ mental well being are in dire condition.
16 Indian sailors are stuck on MV Jag Anand which remains anchored at the Jingtang Port of Hebei province. The sailors reached the port back on June 13 and since then they are stranded there. Another ship MV Anastasia also remains stranded with Indian sailors since 20th September near Caofeidian port.
The crew has alleged that they have been held captive in the ship without proper drinking water and food supplies. Moreover, there’s no doctor on board who can treat them.
Sailors Call for Help
The sailors have called for help as many are turning suicidal under these conditions Navigation Officer Gaurav Singh has even said that a crew member tried to take his life due to this.
In a statement given to the Indian newspaper The Times of India, 29-year-old Gaurav Singh said that they are losing their minds here.
No Certainty on Repatriation
However, the diplomatic discussion between India and China is still going with no absolute certainty. Union Shipping Minister Mansukh Mandaviya has assured that the seafarers will be safely returned to India soon but so far a tentative date hasn’t been decided yet.
‘One crew member even tried to end his life’
China has blocked these ships from changing crew in its ports saying this is being done to control the potential spread of COVID-19, said the Minister
MEA Backs Crew Statement
China still reiterates its stance that the crew has been getting all the facilities despite allegations of captivity and unhygienic conditions from the crew onboard.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Anurag Srivastava has stressed the statements issued by the crew saying that “there is a considerable amount of stress on the crew members on account of this unprecedented situation”.
Ships Stranded Not As A Backlash
Meanwhile, China has claimed that this isn’t a backlash of the worsening Indo-Chinese relations in Ladakh. Chinese officials have said that there is no link between the stranded ships and China’s strained relations with Australia and India.
Media reports highlight that more than 21 ships carrying 200 million dollars worth of Australian coal are stranded at Chinese ports as political relations between the 2 nations worsened. Australia-China relations weakened following Australia’s decision to Barr Huawei’s 5G network in the country because of national security reasons.
Whereas India and China are at a military standoff in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh since June this year.