India Proposes Guidelines for Protecting Fishermen in Bahrain

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SHAFAQNA : India has proposed a set of guidelines for the protection of its fishermen coming to work in Bahrain, more than a month after an Indian crew on a Bahraini vessel died in Qatari waters.

Karthikeyan Thangarasu, 40, died in Qatari waters on September 21 when their Bahraini registered boat collided with a Qatari Coast Guard vessel. His crew members were detained in Qatar and their boat was seized.

To prevent such incidents, India’s embassy in Bahrain has given a direction to the Tamil Nadu government in this regard as most fishermen come to Bahrain from the southern Indian state.

“We have directed the Tamil Nadu government to make the them (fishermen) aware of the rules and regulations of Bahrain. The fishermen come here without no proper legal documents. So in order to make a kind of mechanism, these documents are required,” First Secretary of Labour and Community Welfare of the Indian embassy in Bahrain Ram Singh said.

“India should put these fishermen in Emigration Check Required (ECR) category as they are classified in the seafarer category who are not included in ECR,” he told PTI.

According to the Indian Emigration Act of 1983, ECR passport holders “who have not completed high school” need to obtain emigration clearance to travel to 17 countries.

Indian Ambassador to Bahrain Mohan Kumar said the embassy was earlier asked to enforce the same law that was applicable for the recruitment of housemaids, which means that employers have to pay a deposit to the embassy before recruiting Indian fishermen.

He also said the embassy was following travel ban cases, while Indian nationals serving their sentences in prison were kept in good condition.

source : http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/India-Proposes-Guidelines-for-Protecting-Fishermen-in-Bahrain/2014/11/02/article2504759.ece

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