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Indian fishermen in Bahrain seek embassy’s help

MANAMA: A group of 18 Indians working in the fishing industry in Bahrain today sought the Indian envoy’s intervention in getting back their passports from employers, days after the killing of an Indian fisherman by pirates.

Ambassador Mohan Kumar met a representative of 18 workers, all from Tamil Nadu, this morning and listened to their grievances, officials said.

“The workers informed that their passports were with their employers and there was no legal contract with the company for which they have been working,” they said.

The mission is sending a representative along with others to the employers to get back the passports of the workers, who said they had no food for the last two days.

“The embassy will put them on a flight to India as soon as they get all valid documents,” ambassador Kumar told PTI.

The development comes after Kumar asked Indian workers in Bahrain to register themselves with the embassy within a week, a move that follows the death of an Indian fisherman who was recently shot dead by pirates.

The diplomat said an awareness campaign would be launched to educate workers about the need to have legal documents.

Kumar said fishermen, like many other Indian laborers, did not care about registering with the embassy and that’s wrong because it doesn’t enable the mission to properly help people on an individual basis.

Thomas Glattus Soosai was shot dead on a Bahraini dhow by pirates last week. Six other Indian crew members, who were ordered below deck at gunpoint while the pirates stripped the vessel of valuables, sounded the alarm once they left.

The Indian government has announced it will compensate the dead fisherman’s family and arrangements are being made.