Ravi S Singh
Tribune News Service
New Delhi, January 2
The National Human Rights Commission of India (NHRC) has sought details from Union Ministries of External Affairs (MEA) and the Ports, Shipping and Waterways on action taken for the release of Indian sailors stranded in Chinese waters.
The sailors have been stranded onboard MV Anastasia and MV Jag Anand in Chinese waters for over 147 days now.
Accordingly, the Commission has issued notices to the Secretary (CPV) MEA, and to the Director-General, Shipping.
The details are to be submitted by the authorities within two weeks.
Taking suo motu cognizance of reports regarding difficulties of the seafarers “without any rescue mission in sight”, the Commission observed that the issue involved the violation of human rights.
The Commission said it expected the MEA to take up the issue with the authorities, through the Indian Embassy in People’s Republic of China, so as to ensure immediate relief and security of the seafarers with “promptitude”.
Issuing the notices, it observed that the reports gave a very sordid picture of lack of promptness from the side of the authorities to return back to the country.
“This has resulted in unfathomable anxiety and uncertainty on their release or discharge from the Chinese waters,” the Commission said.
The Commission observed that “prima facie, it appears that the rights to life, dignity, equality and liberty of Indian seafarers have been trampled down by a Member nation of United Nations in derogation of international human rights law and International Covenants applicable in the field of human rights”.