Stranded tug issue takes a new turn

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A new factor has entered into the tug-of-war between the crew and owners of MV BRAHMEKSHARA, the tug controversially docked at Vizhinjam since last December: 
 
T S Sreekumar, the Malayali chief engineer stranded on board following a dispute over salary, warns that the vessel is short of equipment and is in extreme danger with weather turning rough. 
 
However, he says his warnings are falling on deaf ears. His latest letter in this regard to Mumbai-based Affable Fisheries Pvt Ltd, the owners, drew a demand on Tuesday that he vacate the vessel. 
 
The demand came in reply to his request for mooring ropes, batteries and fuel oil to keep the vessel safe at port. 
 
The owners accused Sreekumar of ‘’hijacking and controlling’’ the vessel. The letter also stated that he was no longer part of the crew, and that he would be held accountable for any damage to the vessel. 
 
In fact, Sreekumar has not been given immigration clearance which prevents him from leaving the vessel. ‘’They repeatedly ask me to leave, but they are not ready to go ahead with the procedures connected to it. They have not paid my salary,’’ he said. 
 
Sreekumar had written to the company last week seeking equipment to keep the vessel safe in the choppy harbour waters. 
 
‘’We are even short of mooring ropes. Once the monsoon sets in in earnest, the tug will also pose a threat to fishing vessels and other craft in the harbour,’’ he said. 
 
Earlier, Ports Minister Ramachandran Kadannapally, apprised of his plight, had assured that the matter would be looked into.
 
Source: newindianexpress
 

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