Badal seeks release of Indian sailors

Chandigarh, Aug 29 : Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal Thursday sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to secure the release of 35 Indian sailors arrested by Iranian authorities Aug 12.

In two separate letters addressed to the prime minister and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, Badal demanded that the government should use all diplomatic channels to secure the release of the sailors.

The sailors, including the captain of Shipping Corporation of India vessel 'Desh Shanti', were arrested at Bandar Abbas in Iran.

Badal made the demand after family members of Captain S.S. Cheema and representatives of the Merchant Navy Officers Association met him here, a spokesperson of the chief minister's office said.

The association told Badal that the all the crew members had been arrested on the ground that the ship had allegedly polluted Iranian seas. The crew on board was feeling threatened and were distressed, the association said.

Captain Cheema belongs to Mohali town in Punjab, adjoining Chandigarh.

--IANS (Posted on 29-08-2013)

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