A 26-year-old merchant navy officer from Bhopal has been missing from his vessel in African waters in mysterious circumstances from the intervening night of March 2-3. The vessel was on way to Mozambique from Vadinar port in Gujarat on February 22.
Sandeep Kumar Yadav had joined the Mumbai-based The Great Eastern Shipping Company Limited’s vessel MT Jag Pushpa as a trainee electrical officer (TEO).
Yadav was reportedly in touch with his elder brother Bhupendra till February 22 midnight after which the vessel set sail. “On March 3, around 3 pm, my father (Nandaram) got a call from the shipping company’s head office in Mumbai and was informed that Sandeep is missing from the vessel. A letter was also sent by the company to inform us about his disappearance,” Bhupendra told HT.
According to MT Jag Pushpa captain and Yadav’s roommate onboard, the youth was last seen sleeping in his cabin on March 2 night. On March 3, around 6 am when the crew assembled on ship’s deck for routine counting, Sandeep was found missing.
Bhupendra accused the company of trying to make the incident seem like a suicide. “There was no reason for Sandeep to commit suicide and he has left no suicide note or ever spoken of any problem to us or his friends…There is a possibility that Sandeep may have witnessed something illegal happening on the ship, after which he was killed him to suppress the incident. As the vessel was on international waters it had no CCTV cameras, which raises doubts on the management of the ship,” Bhupendra said.
The family has been told that the case will be investigated by the shipping ministry.
Assistant vice president of fleet personnel department of the shipping company, Pradeep Correa said their official will reach Mozambique in two days to collect facts about incident and collect statements of the crew present on the vessel. The facts will be handed over to the officials of shipping ministry of India which will then investigate into the case, he said.