The four sailors were on board M T Manaman 8, a cargo vessel transporting oil. However, the Iranian Coast Guard arrested the crew members and sent them to prison as they allegedly transported unauthorised oil.
FOSMA and MASSAhave recently released a joint statement to clear the air on some media reports about there being an unofficial ‘ban’ by the Chinese Government on Indian seafarers entering and leaving China, and which has resulted in significant job losses to the Indians.
India’s MEA counsel submitted that petitioners have been in touch with the Mission. They have also been provided with lodging and boarding facilities. Senior Advocate Harish Vaidyanathan, who had appeared for the MEA, assured that any kind of assistance would be provided.
China denied that it had imposed an unofficial ban at its ports for commercial vessels with Indian crew. It said that Beijing has never imposed any restriction and the reports were inaccurate.
On Tuesday, the Delhi High Court issued a notice to the Central government on the plea of families of five Indian seafarers who had been stranded in Iran and seeking direction to offer counselling and legal service to seafarers for securing repatriation.
The Maritime Union of India (MUI), the body representing merchant navy officers, has recently launched a project titled ‘Service to Stranded Seafarers’ to collate the database of Indian seafarers who are languishing in jails located abroad.
Maritime Association of Shipowners Shipmanagers and Agents (MASSA) had alleged that several lakhs of Indian seafarers who are not or no longer Maharashtra state residents are denied COVID-19 vaccines by the BMC-run hospitals.
In response to the second wave of COVID-19 in India, the ISWAN has launched a ‘Vaccination Drive for Indian Seafarers’ in collaboration with Narayana Health and the Medica Group of Hospitals.
Indian seafarers have been hit hard as the COVID-19 second wave upswing continues in the country. Almost every foreign port has put Indian seafarers on the not-to-be-hired list as the pandemic rages.