Monday, October 13, 2008

6 Indian fishermen found in Sri Lanka

G Saravanan
First Published : 12 Oct 2008 01:52:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 12 Oct 2008 08:24:38 AM IST
CHENNAI: Six Indian fishermen, reported missing since September 18 with their fishing trawler off the Chennai coastline, have reached Trincomalee in northern Sri Lanka after a group of Sinhalese fishermen rescued them.

The fishermen left Kasimedu Fishing Harbour in a mechanised fishing trawler (registration number TN- 02 MFB-218) for a three-day fishing trip. They lost contact with the shore when it was about 40 nautical miles off the Chennai coast. The trawler developed mechanical problems and drifted mid-sea.
Confirming the rescue of the six fishermen by their Lankan counterparts six days ago, an official in the Sri Lankan High Commission said they reached Trincomalee harbour on Saturday afternoon. They were doing well and accommodated in rooms provided by the Trincomalee Fishermen Association.

On hearing the news, R Adhimulam, president of Chennai Chengai Singaravelar Mechanised Owner’s Association, spoke to boat driver Vinoth (one of the youngest crew members) over phone and enquired about the condition of other fishermen.

“We cannot forget the Sinhalese fishermen. It was divine providence. They came when our trawler was drifting after it developed a technical snag,” Adhimulam, speaking to this website's newspaper, quoted Vinoth as saying.

After developing a technical snag the trawler drifted in mid-sea for about 17 days. On October 6, the Sinhalese fishing trawler found them, shifted them to their boat and gave food. The Indian trawler was abandoned.

Executive Secretary AAJVS Govind Ram Held In `Molestation' Case?


Andaman Chronicle

9th October 2008

Executive Secretary AAJVS Govind Ram Held In `Molestation' Case?

Whether the aborigines of A&N Islands remain safe under such
characterless govt.official remains a major question

Port Blair, Oct. 8: In an incident that has put theentire A&N
Administration to shame, on 7th October 2008 GovindRam, Executive
Secretary of Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samiti (AAJVS) was bookedin a
case of `molestation' after he forcefully entered the house of a
lone ladyat Srinagar, Minnie Bay, Port Blair. Govind Ram finding the
lady (a policyagent of ICICI and Birla Plus) alone in the house tried to
rape her but waslater arrested by the police.

The incident took place at about2.00 pm whenGovind Ram who was supposed
to be on duty took his official vehicle to thelady's house at Minnie
Bay. Theofficer who was totally under the influence of alcohol entered
the house of thelady in the name of getting policies for her. Finding
her alone, Govind Ramclosed the door from inside and attempted the
disgraceful act.

According to the lady'sstatement recorded in the FIR no. 835/08
dated 7.10.2008 at 1600 hrs, GovindRam has been behind the lady with
such dirty intention since 12th September 2008. In hisfirst meeting
Govind Ram insisted that the lady should meet him only in theevening
hours after 6.00 pm. He thencalled the lady on 18th September 2008 at
4.15 pm and madeher to wait till 7.00 pm. Sinceit was raining heavily,
the officer offered the lady a drop in his vehicle andby 7.30 pm
hedropped the lady in her house.

After this Govind Ram regularlystarted calling the lady over phone and
later started vulgar messages on hermobile phone. By this the lady
judged the intentions of the officer and startedignoring him.

On 7th October 2008 at about2.00 pm in theafternoon, Govind Ram reached
the house of the lady and gave a reason that hewas passing by and on the
way just wanted to meet her. Since Govind Ram was asenior govt. officer,
the lady not knowing his intentions invited him insideher house. He then
enquired whether there was anyone else in the house and finallyfinding
the lady alone in the house closed the entrance gate from inside
andremoved his shirt. He then forcibly held the lady and started
sexually harassingher and insisted to have sexual intercourse with him.

The lady started crying for helpand somehow managed to come out of his
clutches and opened the door. Sheshouted for help. Hearing her cry, the
lady's driver and few neighbours rushedto her. Govind Ram analyzing
the situation wanted to run away but was caught onthe spot.

The lady also tried to call theNaval Police but could not succeed and
later called the Police Control Room forhelp. The local police turned up
at about 2.45 pm arrestedthe govt. officer.

According to the SHO, PSAberdeen, a case under section IPC 342 and IPC
354 has been charged againstGovind Ram and he has been released on bail
on the same day. The sections imposed on the characterlessoffice r means
`Assaults or criminalforce to any women, with intent to outrage her
modesty. And `Punishment forwrongful confinement' .

It is surprising to note thatthat the A&N Police could not find any
matter of `Attempt to Rape' in thecase where a lady by luck
could manage to save herself. Or may be thepreoccupied A&N Police did
not get time to go through the lady'sstatement/ written complaint
thoroughly to impose the correct sections of Lawagainst the officer.

Moreover it is shocking to notethat this officer has not been suspended
yet even after he was arrested forsuch dreadful act while he was
supposed to be on duty. He still remains the inchargeof the welfare of
aboriginal tribe of these islands; most of them who stillremain unaware
of the so-called civilized society of ours.

Commenting on the issue, ShriSamir Acharya of Society for Andaman &
Nicobar Ecology told this paper, "Inthe past also many of the AAJVS
and Tribal Welfare officers have been guilty ofnot only raping but
sometimes forcing females for extended periods of time withno action
taken by the higher ups. I strongly feel that the senior officers ofthe
A&N Administration should take note of this and act sternly".

Smti. Uma Bharathi, StatePresident Nationalist Congress Party, who met
the Editor at PS Aberdeen whilethe investigation process was on said,
"This is a dastardly act by an officerholding such a responsible
post. I demand that justice be done to the lady whobecame a prey of the
wrong intentions of the officer".