THE FAMILY of a Merchant Navy captain from Ludhiana, allegedly detained by Chinese police for the past five months, has appealed to the Indian government to take up the case for his release.
According to his father, Captain Jagvir Singh (31) from Cheema village of Jagraon, Ludhiana, was allegedly arrested by Chinese police on July 7 this year, along with other crew members on board a ship from Taiwan to Korea transporting meat.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Jagvir’s father Parminder Singh, also the sarpanch of his village, said they have no idea about Jagvir’s whereabouts and the documents accessed from the Mumbai-based company which sent the ship, were also found to be “fake”.
“He left home on June 3 for Mumbai, from where he left for Taiwan on a ship on June 17. There were five other crew members along him and the ship was owned by a businessman from Hong Kong. He went through a Mumbai-based company and ship had to unload meat boxes in Korea. However, on July 7, the ship entered Chinese waters and we were told that Shanghai police arrested all of them,” said the father.
Parminder further said that when they contacted the Mumbai firm to get requisite documents so they can get Jagvir released, they initially refused to share the same and later gave them some papers which were found to be “fake”.
“We were told that the ship lacked the required documents due to which Chinese police arrested all of them,” he added.
Parminder said they received a call from some other crew members on July 16 informing them that Jagvir’s ship had been impounded by Chinese authorities. “We have had no contact with Jagvir since his arrest. We got to know that even Jagvir had called up his company to provide requisite documents when their ship entered Chinese waters but no one listened,” he added.
Four other Indian crew members who were arrested along with Jagvir were released by China in August but his son is still under arrest, said Parminder. “I request Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene in the matter. We have no idea where to go,” he added. Jagvir was in touch over phone with his wife Gaganjit Kaur before his arrest.
Back home, his mother Jagdish Kaur and son Avinoor (2) have been waiting to hear from him. “When our lawyers contacted the Mumbai firm, they are misleading us with no clear answers,” said Parminder.
“We also got to know that proper papers were not submitted at the DG shipping office in Mumbai which was the duty of this company. We do not even know the name of the person from Hong Kong who owned the ship,” said Parminder, adding that Jagvir had been in the Merchant Navy since 2008 and it was for the first time that he had gone on this route via China.
“We have mailed everything and sent multiple letters to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and also spoken to the office of the Ministry of Shipping. We appeal to the government to help us and take up the matter with China,” said the father.