Can't take action in mid-sea mishap: Goa CM

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 26, 2013 14:22 hrs

Panaji, Apr 26 (IBNS) The hopes of local fishermen that the Goa government will take criminal action against the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in the sea collision that killed one fisherman, shattered when Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said he has no powers to take action as the accident happened beyond the state jurisdiction.

"I am afraid we cannot take action against the ICG vessel because the accident happened outside the state jurisdiction. The police have anyway registered First Information Report in this matter," Parrikar told reporters Friday evening.

Fishing trawler Sea Massiah broke into two pieces after being rammed by ICG's patrol vessel Vaibhav off Canacona coast in the wee hours of Thursday leaving one fisherman dead and five still missing. Twenty-three other crew members on the trawler were rescued and are undergoing medical treatment.

The trawler capsized 13 nautical miles in the deep sea whereas Goa's jurisdiction is only up to 11 nautical miles.

The government is nonetheless in regular contact with the ICG officers. "They seem to be in mood to take action," Parrikar said.

The ICG has launched Board of Inquiry into the collision.

The government will compensate the accident victims, Parrikar assured.

Cutbona Boat Owners Association, a union of trawler operators, had appealed that government register a criminal case against the pilot, who was steering ICGS Vaibhav.

The owner of the ill-dated trawler Martin Fernandes and one of the rescued victims Aryaman Krishna claimed that after hitting the trawler, the ICG vessel made good its escape instead of rescuing the fishermen.

(Reporting by John Edwards)

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