Seafarer Protest

Thousands of seafarers will take part in a protest marches in eight cities across India on Wednesday to condemn the hijackings and hostage taking by Somali pirates.

The protests will be held in Mumbai, Chennai, Kochi, Diu, Kolkata, Tuticorin, Dehra Dun and Chiplun, and sailors will hand over signed petitions to the respective authorities there.

‘Indian seafarers are an important work force of our country. Thousands of them are working on Indian and foreign flag ships. They do yeoman service in the export-import trade of India, especially bringing the much needed crude oil from the Gulf,’ said A.Y. Serang, general secretary of the powerful National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI).

However, in the past few years, particularly since 2008, many Indian sailors have been taken hostage by Somali pirates.

As a mark of solidarity, other organisations too have decided to join the NUSI demonstrations, including Maritime Union of India, Indian National Shipowners Association, Foreign Owners Representative and Ship Managers Association, Maritime Association of Shipowners, Shipmanagers and Agents.

The march will be held simultaneously in all the cities Wednesday at 1500 local time.

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