India trying to get the body of merchant navy captain back: MEA

New Delhi, Dec.5 : Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson, Syed Akbaruddin on Thursday said on the death of merchant navy Captain Sunil James in Togo is unfortunate and that the government is trying their best to get his body back for final rites.

"We have been following this unfortunate case of Captain Sunil James since he was arrested a few months ago, and it has taken a very sad turn. Our high commissioner is in Accra, who also handles Togo, has been in touch with our Indian honorary counsel in Togo," said Akbaruddin.

"We have tried to bring in notice of the current situation to the public prosecutor and sought his assistance to try and work out a solution, which will be helpful in the current circumstances" he added.

Furthermore, he said a lawyer has been appointed by the Mumbai based shipping company which manages the shipping line.

"Together with the honorary counsel, we are hopeful that we will be able to help the family. We are fully conscious about the sensitivity of this case. Even as we speak now, our high commissioner there is pursuing this matter through our honorary counsel in Togo," he said.

"We do not have a mission in Togo, but still are pursuing this case very vigorously, and we are hopeful of getting a satisfactory outcome of this sad situation," he added.

Captain Sunil James had been detained in Togo by the naval authorities after a pirate attack on the ship he was sailing in which he had been injured and hospitalized, to investigate the matter on July 30 this year.

As a few of the pirates were of an Indian origin, the naval authorities doubted the captain's involvement with the pirates.

He had later been taken into custody on July 31 and has been there ever since.

Earlier in September, Sunil's wife had stated that her husband had been living on bread for the past one month and that he had fever and an infection in one eye, and the cell had no proper medical aide visiting.

She has added that his condition was deteriorating and nothing was being done about it.

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid had later said that the matter would be addressed as urgently as possible.

--ANI (Posted on 05-12-2013)

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