Distraught families of hijacked MV Iceberg to raise funds?

Mumbai, Jun 27: The families of MV Iceberg sailors, who have been in captivity of the Somali pirates for more than 14 months have decided to raise the ransom money on their own.

The government's lackadaisical attitude towards raising an amount of $ 2.5 million has pushed the families to help the captive sailors on the MV Iceberg to do the same.

MV Iceberg was captured by the pirates in Yemen at the port of Aden on Mar 29, 2010.

"We can no longer trust the government because it has failed to keep its promises. We request the business fraternity and Bollywood to help us in raising funds for the release of our sons.
They have helped needy families in the past and we hope that they will help us too. We will take to the roads to draw people's attention if need be," said Chief officer-in-command of MV Iceberg - I, Dheeraj's father, Purshottam Tiwari.

"We have spoken to those mediating between us and the pirates. They always ask about the ransom money whether we have arranged for it or we need more time some more time. At the same time, we have also spoken to our sons through the mediators, who have repeated the pirates' demands.
Hence, it is amply clear that all the pirates need is money. It is very unfortunate, however, that the governments at the state and Centre have failed to help us, both directly and indirectly," he added.

Ansar Burney, Pakistani Human Rights Activist had played a vital role in the release of MV Suez crew who were captured by Somali pirates and later released after paying a huge ransom of $ 2 million.

"We have to take the same approach. We will approach Burney and see if he is willing to help us in negotiations like he had for the families of M V Suez. We hope he will agree," said sailor Ganesh's father, Mansingh Mohite.

"Our children are very low profile as compared to captives in other cases. Had it been a plane hijack, the government would have done anything to ensure the captives' release," said Tiwari blaming the government for not helping the needy.

"The hijack of IC-814 by a Pakistan-based terror organisation is one such example where the government released hardcore terrorists and doled out money to send negotiators to help with the passengers' release," he added.

The families have tried their hands at getting help from the Prime Minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj, the Director General (Shipping) and even Baba Ramdev, but all their efforts have gone in vain. The families also held a protest near Jantar Mantar with Sushma Swaraj.

OneIndia News

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