29.7 C
Doha
Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Indian fisherman dies after boat ‘collides’ with Qatar Coast Guard

-

For illustrative purposes only
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

An Indian fisherman has been killed and three of his colleagues jailed after the boat they were working on apparently strayed from Bahrain into Qatar’s waters on Sunday, a senior Indian Embassy in Doha official said.

The deceased, Karthikeyan Thangaraj, hailed from the Tamil Nadu region of India, and was a resident of Bahrain.

He was killed when his boat crashed into a Qatari Coast Guard patrol boat, according to P.S Sashi Kumar, the embassy’s deputy chief of mission.

Earlier this week, several Indian media reports, including the Times of India, stated that Thangaraj had been shot and killed by Qatar’s Coast Guard while out fishing.

But Kumar has dismissed those reports, telling Doha News that the fishermen’s death resulted from the two boats crashed in the dark:

“The information given to us by the Qatari government is that a fishing boat collided with a Qatar coastguard patrol boat. The collision happened at night-time. There was no shooting.”

Meanwhile, the three men who were also on the fishing boat with Thangaraj were arrested by the coastguard and have been in custody for the past three days. They were named by Gulf Times as Malaikannan Selvan, Raj Rockappa and Iyyappan Andavar.

They appeared in court on Monday and will be deported to Bahrain “shortly,” the embassy official said.

Appeal for release

Yesterday, Tamil Nadu’s Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa appealed to the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in order to secure the three men’s release and return Thangaraj’s body.

In a letter to Modi, the Chief Minister is quoted by Indian newspaper Deccan Chronicle as saying:

“The family of the deceased fisherman is shattered and seek the early return of his body.

The arrested fishermen are the sole breadwinners of their families and if their immediate release is not secured, the fishermen and their families will be put to great financial and mental hardship.”

She said Thangaraj had been working in Bahrain on a contract basis for the past four months and announced that his family had been given five lakh (INR500,000 or QR29,860) in cash relief.

The Indian embassy here has said it is “making the necessary arrangements to return the body to India.”

Fishermen detained

This is not the first time that fishermen working in other Gulf countries have been detained for accidentally crossing into a different nation’s waters.

In October 2012, 10 Indian fishermen from Bahrain were arrested for the offense and given 14-day jail terms.

And in the same month, 29 Qatar-based fishermen, mostly from Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India, were held in custody on the Iranian island of Kish after allegedly straying into Iranian territorial waters.

Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

Subscribe
Notify of
11 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
johnny wang
johnny wang
6 years ago

Why use lethal force or even treat them like criminals when this guys are just poor, unarmed fishermen risking their lives to make a living and to put fish on the dining table for the others who don’t want to risk their lives to venture into the deep sea. Why do countries in the region including Iran play political football with citizens of other countries who are out doing a risky job and certainly are not criminals or terrorists

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

U know very little

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago

The boat didn’t stray anywhere… These is a reoccurring issue… Fishermen from Bahrain.. Whether their Indian or Bahraini… Intentionally come into Qatari waters to and use illegal fishing techniques and nets to collect fishes of all size and damage coral reefs in the process…

What happened is what always happened.. They get caught by Qatari coast guards… They attempt to make a run for it back into Bahraini waters and refuse to stop.. So Qatari coast guard ram them…

Also the biggest drug smugglers are Indians and Pakistanis from Bahrain who make drops in Qatari waters…

desertCard
desertCard
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

And you know this boat didn’t “stray” accidentally into the Qatari waters how?

What reefs are you talking about? I dive here and there aren’t any.

So a few fish is worth killing someone over?

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

im not a diver so i dont know much about coral reefs but i do now we have them near halul island and i think in fuwarite

http://www.reefbase.org/global_database/dbr2,51,QAT,124.aspx

although first of all fish are not worth killing anyone and i dont think they tried to kill them seems like an unintended collision in the dark. the only time i know they they actually open fire is either
A) boats are too close to one of our offshore oil platforms
B) they are suspected of trying to bring in drugs and tried to run away when asked to stop the boat

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Coast Guard obviously rammed their boat. or they did in an attempt to flee. Coast Guards all over the world ram your boat when you illegally trespass into territorial waters and when spotted fail to
stop when asked. If the boat decides to go full throttle in the opposite direction the coast guard will give chase and force you to stop, especially in an area known for illegal fishing and smuggling of
drugs. The coast guard did not intend to kill anyone, to do so they would have used the gunners on the boats. They intended to stop the boat by force resulting in the death of a fishermen on the boat.

Qatar coast guard did use the gunners in the past killing one Bahraini fishermen. The fishermen
was illegally fishing in Qatari waters and using illegal nets and when caught rammed into the Qatari coast guard boat injuring those on board and continued to flee, his boat was gunned down.

No there are no coral reef like the golden coast or the red sea, nothing picturesque at least. But what
illegal fishermen do is they come at night using very large metal poles or underwater explosives and start cracking these reefs to make the fish come out as they cast illegal tight nets to caught everything and anything.

So next time if you are doing nothing illegally at the middle of night in a drug smuggling hot spot, stop when you see the coast guard approaching and not make a run for it in the other direction.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

btw all commercial fishing boats in the gulf are required by law to carry an up to date and operating GPS system. your GPS system can accept coordinates setting out a parameter by which if you “stray” outside the set parameter a warning alarm from the device is set off!
Further, just like Qatar, bahrain fishing boats are required to have at least one bahraini fishermen on board with them to be held liable if such events occur. Same with Qatar, if a convey of commercial fishing boats leave port they are required to be accompained by one Qatari national fishermen who manages the group.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

“What reefs are you talking about? I dive here and there aren’t any.”

Here, contact them and they’ll tell you!

http://www.qatardivers.com/

Gareth Walters
Gareth Walters
6 years ago
Reply to  A_qtr

Do you have any evidence to support what you are saying. If this happens all the time then why have we never heard story’s like this before?
i am not saying that what you are saying is wrong, I do not have any evidence either. You are making a very sweeping statement.

A_qtr
A_qtr
6 years ago
Reply to  Gareth Walters

learn arabic and read one the four arabic local papers rather than relay on dohanews for your source of info.

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
6 years ago
Reply to  Gareth Walters

You’re question should be posed to the news agencies, or in this case, Doha News. In most cases there are no fatalities or serious injury. This might be the reason why this case received attention and was published here.

One of the reasons why the coast guards have to be tough is that drug smugglers from Iran and Saudia also use the same area, and may very well disguise themselves as fishing boats.

Related Articles

- Advertisment -

Most Read

Subscribe to Doha News below!

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.