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Declare 26/11 attacks fishermen as dead, families demand

Seven years after Mumbai witnessed the 26/11 attacks, distraught families of the four fishermen onboard the ‘MV Kuber’, which was hijacked by the terrorists, continue to face hardship as they await the government to declare their “missing” kin as “dead” and duly compensate them.

Ten Pakistani terrorists had hijacked MV Kuber, a fishing trawler, off Jhakau coast in Gujarat to reach Mumbai for carrying out the strike.

Family members of three fishermen belonging to Navasari district submitted a memorandum to district collector Ramya Mohan demanding that as per Gujarat government rules, missing persons are declared dead after seven years.

Gujarat Fishermen Association (GAF) has also sought intervention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi in getting compensation to kin of the four fishermen.

“All the four of them should be declared dead and a compensation of Rs 10 lakh should be given to family members of each of them,” Navsari collector said.

The family members also demanded that death certificate should also be issued. State government has declared the four fishermen — Ramesh Nagji Bamaniya from Junagad, Balwant Prabhu, Mukesh Rathod and Natu Nanu — all from from Navsari, as “missing”.

“The family members met me on Tuesday as they (four fishermen) have been declared ‘missing’ by the government, and represented that they were the only bread earning members of their family. So, the fishermen should be now declared as ‘dead’ and a proper compensation should be given to them,” Mohan said.

She said the district authority has decided to send a fresh proposal to the government to consider the time factor and hardships faced by the families.

The body of only one of the five fishermen, Kuber Amarsinh Solanki, who was also the captain of the trawler, was recovered.

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