Workers commandeer barge

Threaten to kill crew.

Angry workers commandeer barge, accused of ‘piracy’

KOCHI: A group of workers facing retrenchment forcibly boarded a barge involved in transporting cargo from Cochin Port to FACT and took it to Bolgatty jetty.

The Kochi-based shipping company operating the barge filed a “piracy” complaint with police and sought immediate action against the perpetrators. The incident occurred when the barge, M V Kohenoor, was approaching Thevara on its way back from FACT after unloading its cargo at about 8pm on Thursday and was proceeding to Q10 berth to load the next consignment.

Eight workers, who came in country boats, boarded the barge and threatened to kill the crew and others on board – around 11 of them, most of them from north India. The workers didn’t seem to have any weapons with them. They insisted that the crew switch off their mobile phones and got the vessel diverted to National Inland Water Authority of India.

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