Saturday, June 15, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Family members of sailors’ demand prompt measures to secure release of all hostages

  • Relatives seen waiting at SR Shipping's office
  • Nine out of 23 sailors are residents of Chittagong
Update : 13 Mar 2024, 11:32 PM

Anxious family members and relatives of the sailors of the Bangladesh-flagged cargo ship MV Abdullah, which was hijacked by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean on Monday, demanded immediate government actions to secure the release of all hostages.

Relatives and family members of several sailors were seen waiting at SR Shipping's office in the Agrabad commercial area of the city this afternoon.

Talking to BSS, Shahnur Begum, mother of Chief Officer Md Atik Ullah Khan, said her son has been working on ships since 2008, but has never faced anything like this.

“I never thought that my son would fall victim to such kidnapping. I never thought my family would go through such danger," the 62-year-old Shahnur Begum broke down in tears while talking to this correspondent.

Shahnur urged the company of the vessel and the government to take all steps to bring back his son and other crew members home safely.

Shahnur Begum said her daughter-in-law is pregnant, and she fell sick after hearing about the kidnapping of her husband.

Shahnur Begum said SR Shipping informed them that everyone on board is safe and sound.

"It has been assured that all efforts are being made for their release," she added.

Joshna Begum, mother of Tanvir Ahmed who came to the SR Shipping office, asked the people who were present there, 'Where is my Manik? Please, bring him in front of me." 

Family members of other sailors were condoling her, as she was crying continuously.

Jannatul Ferdous, wife of hostage sailor Nur Uddin, said: “Give the information about the last conversation with my husband."

“I can't reach my husband; I don't know how he is. All of them need to be rescued, as soon as possible,” she said in a trembling voice. 

Parvin Akter, a sister of a hostage sailor, said: "My brother was working as a common sailor on the ship. There has been no contact with him since he was taken hostage.

She called upon the government and shipping authority to take immediate action and bring everyone back.

Out of 23 sailors held hostage by pirates, nine are residents of Chittagong. The rest are from different districts of the country.

Mizanul Islam, media advisor of KSRM Group, said the authority is giving the matter utmost importance. “They have been trying to contact the pirates but haven't communicated yet,” he added.

Talking to journalists, Principal Officer of SR Shipping Lines Captain Sabbir Mahmud said they first learned about the pirate attack from the ship's deck cadet. Later, the owner of the ship also spoke with him, he added.

He informed that the ship was being taken by pirates to the coast of Somalia. It was about 300 nautical miles off the coast of Somalia this morning. The authority is trying to communicate with them.

MV Abdullah is owned by SR Shipping Lines – a sister company of Chittagong-based Kabir Steel and Rerolling Mill (KSRM) Group.

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