Chennai: Two directors of Pratibha Shipping Company were arrested in Pune by the Chennai police in connection with the death of six crew of their ship on the Chennai coast on October 31 last year.
The parents of Niranjan, one of the six crewmembers of the Pratibha Cauvery who drowned on that day when cyclone Nilam hit the Chennai coast, had committed suicide in their house at Arakkonam, Vellore district, 12 days back, blaming the shipping agency and the government for not taking action against people responsible for their son’s death.
The police on Wednesday said they had arrested Madan A.R. Pawar, 55, and his brother Suresh A.R. Pawar, 51, both directors of the shipping firm, in Pune, and brought them to Chennai.
The two were charged with culpable homicide not amounting to murder, in connection with the case, just as two employees of Seaward Shipping and Logistics in Chennai were arrested by the city police in November.
On Wednesday, the police said the shipping company and logistics firm in Chennai had failed to provide adequate water resources, stores and salary dues and knowingly failed to rectify the repairs in the lifeboat which led to its capsizing when the crew tried to reach the shore, and their failure to save the lives of the seamen in distress.
The oil tanker, which was near Chennai port, drifted as its anchor broke after Nilam hit the TN coast. The ship’s captain ordered the sailors to abandon the ship after it lost anchor and ran aground near Besant Nagar beach.
As many as 22 crew members attempted to head for the shore in a lifeboat and the overloaded boat capsized, resulting in six seamen drowning, while the other 16 were rescued by local fishermen.
The next day, after the fury of Nilam subsided, Coast Guard rescued the rest from the ship.