Nearly three months after the fishermen from Uttara Kannada were detained in Iran after having gone fishing off the Dubai coast, the 18 men have reached out to the Indian government for help, according to reports.
The men sent a video on Monday requesting for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to come forward and help them, TNIE reports.
In two separate incidents, on July 27 and August 25, fishermen working in Dubai were arrested by Iranian security personnel after the men were allegedly caught wading into Iranian waters. They were detained near Kish Island, reports say.
TNIE, quotes one of the men, Usmain Bombaikar as saying, “We are hoping that the Indian government will come forward to help us. Minister Sushma Swaraj took initiatives to rescue many Indians who were stranded abroad. Likewise, she should help us get rescued from Iran.”
In the video doing the rounds, the 18 men can be seen staying in two boats, anchored at Kish Island.
It was earlier reported in October, that some of the men detained at the time had reached out to the Indian embassy and were awaiting release. The men had been held in their boat since the end of July, around 1,000 kilometres from Iran’s capital city, Tehran. One man is allegedly allowed to go out each day to buy essentials, though all of the men are held in the boat otherwise. Nine of the fishermen at the time were reported to be from the coastal town of Bhatkal in Uttara Kannada, while several others identified as belonging to Kumta, one from Udupi and another from Honnavar.