The Seafarers Association of India organised countrywide peace marches,expressing solidarity with the family of Captain Sunil James,who,along with his two colleagues,has been detained in Togo since July on charges of abetting pirates.
In Mumbai,the silent march began opposite the Air India building,Marine Drive,at 4.30 pm and ended at the National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA).
More than 500 seafarers and their families participated in the march. This is a concern for all of them. You do not necessarily have to sail near the Horn of Africa to be attacked by pirates. They can attack ships in the Arabian Sea as well, said Rakesh Madappa,Sunils brother-in-law.
The association also organised marches in Pune,Kolkata,Jaipur,Chandigarh and New Delhi,the family said.
The association felt this issue needs to be addressed and told us that they wanted to do something for Sunil. The government needs to do something about this, Rakesh said.
The family has stepped up its efforts to secure Sunils release in the past two weeks,after the death of his 11-month-old son Vivaan,due to septicemia.
The judge in Togo,who is hearing the case,is yet to make a decision on the release application filed by the family.
The Indian government has also begun talks with its counterparts in Togo after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh put in charge PMO joint secretary,Jawed Ashraf,to oversee the efforts.