Captive sailor's family pleads with government
The parents of 22-year-old sailor Aman Kumar, held captive by Somali pirates for the last 20 months, made a plea to the government Thursday to ensure his release as the 45-day deadline given by the pirates was nearing.
"Three days ago I got a call from my son, who was literally crying. He was saying the pirates are not giving him food and threatening to kill him if their demands of USD 1 million ransom and release of 61 Somali pirates held by the Indian Navy were not accepted," Aman's mother Pushpa Devi said.
The Somali pirates hijacked Malaysian-flagged cargo ship MV Albedo Nov 26, 2010, near Maldives in the Indian Ocean with all its 23 crew members, comprising seven Sri Lankans, five Bangladeshis, two Indians and seven Pakistanis. One Indian from Kolkata has already died.
"The Indian government must act," Aman's father Kewal Krishan, told IANS Thursday. "If Pakistan can get their men back, why not India," the ex-serviceman, who is a resident of Kardial village in Kangra district, asked. The Pakistanis were released July 31 after a ransom was paid.
"They (the pirates) gave a 45-day ultimatum to their demands. Nine days are over and the deadline is nearing," Aman's mother said with moist eyes.
The couple got a ray of hope when Chandresh Kumari, a former Himachal Pradesh minister and now Jodhpur MP, informed Sharma that his representation seeking the central government's intervention on the issue was handed over to External Affair Minister S.M. Krishna and his subordinate Preneet Kaur Wednesday.
The couple has no information on where the ship is anchored and what is the negotiation going on between the pirates and the company.
The couple said they earlier wrote letters to the president, prime minister and foreign minister, but there was no response.