Vadodara:Independent Rajya Sabha MP Parimal Nathwani has urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to secure the release of ten Indian sailors languishing in an Iranian jail since last five months.

The sailors, belonging to Mandvi taluka of Kutch district in Gujarat, were detained by Iran Marine Security Agency this year when their ship ‘Al Hudd’ was seized after it allegedly entered the territorial waters of Iran while on its way to Oman, violating the international maritime boundary, said Nathwani, who is a native of Jamnagar from Saurashtra.

The agency also charged the ship of carrying crude oil in excess quantity. The ship is owned by a Dubai-based Ali Suleman Abdul Raheman and was on its way to Oman from Dubai when the incident occurred on May 23, he told PTI here today.

After their detention, these sailors were produced in a local court in Iran where a fine amounting to Rs 41 lakh was imposed on the ship owner. Besides, each of the sailors were ordered to pay a fine of Rs 19,800.

However, Raheman, in a bid to evade the fine obtained signatures of these jailed sailors on a letter written in Persian, saying that entering territorial Iranian waters was their mistake and the ship owner was not responsible for it.

The ship owner misguided these sailors before obtaining their signatures on the letter and produced it in court, the MP said.

Since then, these innocent sailors have been suffering. As they are poor, these sailors cannot meet the legal expenses for getting their release from jail. Hence, I have requested the PM and the External Affairs Minister to take up the matter with their counter parts in Iran and ensure their early release on humanitarian grounds, he added.

Talking to PTI, Adam Siddiq Thaim, President of Kutchh Mandvi Vahanvata Association said, “I too had written to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi five days ago requesting him to urge the Centre for doing needful.”

“Its a pity that the Government of India is not taking up this matter seriously,” he rued.

In view of this, the Muslim families of these ten sailors in Mandvi have decided not to celebrate Bakri-Eid on October 16.

The detained sailors are: Ali Aamad t (Captain) Umar Hussain Thaim, Palin Suleman Madiar, Kasam Mama Karani, Ibrahim Umar Juneja, Sidiq Adam Madiar, Hussain Abdul Hamid, Mausin Darun Ruknali, Aasif Mamad Madiar and Aamada Kasam Andhar.

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