Karnataka: Thousands of fishermen took out a protest march in the Udupi district of Karnataka on Sunday. The protestors demanded the government to trace the seven members of their community who have been missing for 24 days.
The seven fishermen went missing in December from near the Malpe port in Udupi district.
The incident came to light when a Twitter handle @malpesharath1 informed Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Twitter that a fishing boat named Suvarna Tribhuja, with a group of fishermen, had not been found since December 13, raising fear that it could be a handiwork of terrorists wanting to carry out Mumbai 26/11 type of attack.
After the matter was brought to her notice, Sitharaman directed the Coast Guard and Navy to check and respond to the call for help from the families of the fishermen.
“Sorry to know, @indiancoastguard @indiannavy please check and respond,” Sitharaman tweeted.
The Indian Coast Guard, on December 25, pressed its ships, aircraft and helicopters into service to locate the vessel and the missing people. An additional interception craft was also pressed into action as a part of the search operation.
As per reports, kin of the fishermen expressed fear that their family members may have been kidnapped by terrorists and urged the government to move fast in locating the boat as it could hamper national security.