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A 42-Year-Old Goan Seafarer Abducted by Pirates Dies in Captivity

42-year-old Britto D’Silva, the lone breadwinner of the family, went to work on a ship to support his family, but he did not return back. In the month of December Pirates hijacked the ship and kidnapped 20 Indian sailors amongst the 4 Goans. After the intervention of various Government authorities, Pirates released the 19 Indians including 3 Goans.

According to the reports, Four Goan seafarers amongst the 20 Indian Sailors were abducted by the Pirates in the month of December last year and they were kept captive in the jungle under severe conditions. Following the negotiations, the Pirates had released all the captive sailors on Sunday. 

However one among the four Goans identified as Britto D’Silva from Ambelim apparently died in Captivity. The Exact reason behind his death of a Goan sailor is not yet known and the family will be able to understand only when the remaining three people come back to Goa.  

“It is being informed that Brito D’Silva one of the four Goans seafarers from Ambelim kidnapped by Nigerian pirates died under mysterious circumstances while in captivation. 18 seafarers have been released by pirates today. Demanding an enquiry into the matter,” commissioner for NRI affairs Narendra Sawaikar tweeted. 

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Savarkar told the media that there is no clarity about the circumstances that lead to his death. One has to understand that he was among those held hostage by pirates. The (shipping) company was negotiating with the pirates for over a month for their safe release and I was being updated. However, we don’t know the nature or terms of those negotiations. I have demanded an inquiry, and I hope some clarity emerges,” he said.

According to sources, one of the representatives of the shipping company had called the family of the deceased and informed them about the death of Dsilva. “Dixon Vaz of Goa Seamen’s Association of India told TOI that representatives of the shipping company had called on D’Silva’s family in Ambelim on Sunday morning and gave the tragic news.” 

The deceased D’Silva was married recently around 7-8 months ago said Vaz adding that the family was informed that he died on December 23.  He demanded a thorough inquiry into D’Silva’s death. 

“We have learnt that all the kidnapped seafarers were kept confined at an isolated place deep in the forests. So how he died, whether he fell sick, etc, we don’t know. We are waiting for the arrival of the other three Goans who have been released today (Sunday) to reach home so that we get some clarity on the matter,” Vaz said. 

It may be recalled that the report published in the Incredible Goa pirates had attacked the ship on December 15 in the international waters approximately 140 nautical miles from Lome, Tago. Meanwhile, the NRI Commissioner, Goa Mr Narendra Sawaikar said that the commission had written a letter to the Indian High Commission in Abuja following the parents of four Goans sailors contacted him for help. “We immediately got in touch with the Indian High Commission for assistance,” Sawaikar told IANS. 

According to the reports, four Goans who were appointed as new sailors by the shipping company called ‘Union Marine’ ship from which the pirates abducted the sailors. The family members of the Goan seafarers were called to the office of the hiring company V-shipping and were counselled and assured of the release of their dear ones. 

“Owners and managers are working closely with all the appropriate authorities and specialists to secure the safe and speedy release of the crew members being held, this being the utmost priority,” V Ships said in a statement.

Image Courtesy: Heraldo

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