February 7, 2017 11:10:34 pm
A court here has declared dead three fishermen onboard Kuber boat who were presumed to have been killed by Pakistani terrorists who carried out the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack. The court of additional civil judge R G Yadav on January 21 pronounced dead three of the five fishermen who were onboard Kuber fishing trawler when it was hijacked by terrorists from Pakistan in Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast near Porbandar.
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Only the body of captain Amarsinh Solanki was found from the boat while bodies of Balwant Tandel, Natwar Rathod, Mukesh Rathod, and Ramesh Solanki were missing.
Relatives of three of them — Tandel, Natwar Rathod, and Mukesh Rathod — who hail from Jalalpore taluka in Navsari district, had approached the court in January 2016 seeking death certificate so they could be provided compensation which was denied on the ground that they were not being considered dead by the state government.
The kin of the fishermen were deprived of Rs 3 lakh compensation by the Gujarat government and other benefits given to the victims of Mumbai terror attack because the government was not declaring them dead.
As a legal process, a person can approach the court to declare his relative dead seven years after he remains missing. The relatives of the fishermen similarly approached the court on January 15, 2016, said government pleader of Navsari, Tushar Sule.
The state government had earlier given compensation of Rs 50,000 to the relatives of each of them by way of compensation, but they were still not given actual compensation amount in the absence of death certificate from authorities.
Kuber, a fishing trawler with five fishermen had set sail three to four days prior to the 26/11 attacks. Their boat was forcefully occupied in high seas by Pakistani terrorists.
The body of its captain Solanki was found by security agencies from the boat when they seized it after the attack off the Mumbai coast. It is believed that the captain was kept alive by the terrorists to guide them to Mumbai.
While it was speculated till now that, other four fishermen on board Kuber were killed and thrown in high seas by the terrorists. Their bodies were never found.
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