India trying to get jailed merchant navy captain back for son's last rites: MEA (Amended:MEA)

New Delhi, Dec.6 : The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has said it is trying to make arrangements to get jailed merchant navy captain Sunil James back to perform the last rites of his eleven-month-old son Vivaan who died on December 2.

The body of Vivaan, who died after developing gangrene in the intestine while undergoing treatment at Andheri's Holy Spirit Hospital, has been kept in the hospital morgue's cold storage.

"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 MEA spokesman Syed 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.

"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 on July 30 this year.

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

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

Earlier in September, Sunil's wife, Aditi, 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 said that she has been pursuing the case with the governments of India and Ghana.

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

Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has said the matter would be addressed as urgently as possible.

--ANI (Posted on 06-12-2013)

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