The city’s coast is not safe from terror, fishermen who go out to sea every day have said.
The community in Mumbai said the navy and fisheries department were not doing enought to keep the coast safe. At a meeting held by the Akhil Maharashtra Machhimar Kriti Samiti, its president Damodar Tandel said, “The area is prone to infiltration, as no attention is paid to patrolling sea or coast.”
Tandel suggested fishermen should be trained to defend themselves and the coast. “The police are not ready for patrolling. They have never seen or been to sea. In an emergency, they could hardly save themselves. We are ready to do the work , but we lack the funds and expertise. We urge the government to train us so we can be of help for our people,” Tandel said.
The community was also concerned about boats employing workers who are not from India. “More than 60% fishing boats are found to be employing workers from the hinterland with no traditional fishing background. We have also caught boats with workers who are not from India. We reported five suspicious boats on Indian waters in January with foreign workers not carrying valid documents,” Tandel said.
The community said there have been cases where fishermen caught boats with duplicate registration numbers and no action was taken. “Some boats have no colour code (a flag ensures the boat belongs to Mumbai).”