For the past four months,14 Indians and three Pakistani nationals,working as crew members on board a ship,are stuck in Somalia because of a dispute over damage to the cargo. While the dispute remains unresolved,the crew is fast running out of money and food.
The vessel,M V Jaipur,is owned by Dubai-based Al Rashid company. On September 30,2008,the ship left for Somalia and reached Mogadishu after nine days. The next day,the vessel ran aground,resulting in the cargo suffering damage. The cargo owner demanded $2 million as damage charges from the shipping company.
Six of the Indian crew members are from UP,while the others are from Tamil Nadu,Himachal Pradesh,Haryana,Madhya Pradesh and Kerala.
The family of one of the crew members,Dinesh Kumar Singh (30),has written to various authorities,requesting them to intervene in the matter. Dineshs brother Vinod Singh said his brother had informed him over satellite phone that the Pakistani Government had intervened on behalf of its nationals and they would go back home in a few days. The Directorate General of Shipping and the Ministry of External Affairs said they were not aware of the matter.