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Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar, captain of Wakashio

Maritime Union of India seeks support for fair trial of Wakashio Captain

The Maritime Union of India is seeking support for a fair trial of Wakashio Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar by courts in Mauritius.

The Wakashio, owned by Nagashiki Shipping, went aground off Mauritius on 25 July, before it split into two on 16 August, and spilled at least 1,000 tonnes of 4,000 tonnes of bunker fuel onboard into the sea.

The Master of the Wakashio has been charged courts in Mauritius of ‘unlawful interference with the operation of a property of a ship’ that resulted in unsafe navigation and remains under detention in a police cell according to local reports. He could face a 60-year jail term if found guilty.

The MUI is seeking a fair inquiry in the judicial trial of the Captain the Press Trust of India reported.

The Union has written to the Shipping Ministry of India, Mauritius Government, High Commission of India in Port Louis, High Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of Mauritius in India, Office of Mauritius Attorney General, Mauritius Police, Mauritius-based Maritime Transport and Port Employees Union and all relevant offices in Mauritius and India for a fair trial of the matter

"MUI's communication has requested these bodies to investigate the arrest of Capt Sunil Nandeshwar in Mauritius and conduct his judicial trial in the local Court abiding the guidelines laid by 'International Maritime Organisation' and without bowing to any political, governmental or corporate pressure. He is currently in judicial custody in Mauritius," a statement from the MUI was quoted as saying.

MUI general secretary Amar Singh Thakur said, "Capt Sunil Nandeshwar has had an incident-free career in the merchant navy for over 40 years, and around 25 years in command as ship's Captain. He has successfully completed over 100 voyages across the globe till-date"

The Union is also seeking that he be allowed to communicate with his family and shipping company managers.

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