Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Muthu Kannan, pictured here in his living quarters on August 6, has applied to UAE authorities to let him, and the other fishermen injured in the US Navy shooting incident off the Dubai to travel home to India.
Muthu Kannan, pictured here in his living quarters on August 6, has applied to UAE authorities to let him, and the other fishermen injured in the US Navy shooting incident off the Dubai to travel home to India.

Fishermen injured in US Navy shooting off Dubai coast appeal to go home

Men have asked to return to India for further medical treatment and to see their families while investigation into the incident continues.

DUBAI// The three Indian fishermen who were shot by the US Navy off the Dubai coast in July have appealed to UAE authorities to allow them to return home.

Muthu Kannan, 35, Pandu Sanadhan, 26, and Muthu Muniraj, 28, were injured and their friend, Arumugam Sekar, 29, was killed when USNS Rappahannock opened fire on their boat 16km off Jebel Ali.

The men, who cannot leave the country without the consent of UAE officials as police investigations are ongoing, have submitted a letter to Dubai Public Prosecution asking for permission to travel to India for further medical treatment and to be with their families.

"I want them to send me back home," said Mr Sanadhan, who sustained bullet wounds to his legs. "I want to be close to my wife and children. They keep asking when I will return. I want to be with them so they can take care of me," he said.

According to the fishermen's accounts, the US Navy oil-supply vessel started firing at their boat, which was carrying six Indian crew and two Emiratis, as it crossed its path heading towards shore.

The men said no warning shots were fired, but an American Navy spokesman said the ship's crew used lethal force after the fishing boat disregarded a series of warnings and rapidly approached the US ship.

Last month, the US government offered "humanitarian relief funds" of 500,000 rupees (Dh33,000) to the deceased man's family and Dh3,300 each for the three injured men.

Mr Sanadhan and Mr Muniraj are still in Rashid Hospital. Mr Muniraj is receiving treatment for his wounds, while Mr Sanadhan, who underwent several surgeries to remove bullets, said he was ready to be discharged.

However, hospital authorities have told them they first need authorisation from their boat's captain, who is also their sponsor. "I have been trying to reach my sponsor on his mobile but he doesn't answer," said Mr Sanadhan.

He said police officials questioned him about the incident for the first time on Monday. "They asked me if warning shots had been fired and other details," he said, adding the interrogation lasted for an hour.

"I have requested to leave because I want to see my family," said Mr Kannan, who was discharged last month. He was shot in his buttocks and leg.

"If I go home, I'll have my family to look after me. I am feeling better and can walk without help. My pain has reduced, but I still need help."

Dubai Public Prosecution confirmed it had received the men's letter.

"They are requesting to go back to India, take treatment and come back," said Sami Al Shamsi, the chief prosecutor and head of Bur Dubai Prosecutor's office. "I received the paper late [on Tuesday]. I will send it to the manager of the Attorney General's office."

He said the decision to grant them permission would be taken by the Attorney General's office.

Mr Al Shamsi also said the case was still being investigated by Dubai Police and had not yet been referred to Dubai Prosecution.

"There are many procedures to be done. The incident happened in the water."

The Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi said it was following the case with the UAE and American governments.

"The US will complete their investigations shortly," said Indian ambassador MK Lokesh after a meeting with his US counterpart, Michael H Corbin, yesterday.

"They will be completing the investigations shortly and will share the details with the Indian and the UAE government."

"We have also taken up with UAE authorities to expedite this case. We are in touch with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. We hope that within a week or so some clarity will emerge on when the investigations will be complete."

The US Navy did not respond to requests for comments on the ongoing investigations and Dubai Police were unavailable for comment.

pkannan@thenational.ae

* Additional reporting by Wafa Issa

Back to the top

More articles


Editor's Picks

 Shah Rukh Khan performs at the IPL Gala dinner to open IPL VII at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi.

In pictures: Shah Rukh Khan stars at IPL Gala dinner in Abu Dhabi

The superstar entertainer Shah Rukh Khan on stage last night at a gala dinner to launch the Indian Premier League cricket tournament.

No words can describe this April 17, your captions will

Have a catchy caption for this picture. Share it with us and we might publish it and reward you.

 When this 1856 British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp goes under the hammer at Sotheby’s in New York on June 17, it is expected to attract a world record bid for a single stamp of up to $20 million (Dh73.4m). Courtesy Sotheby’s

Rare 1856 stamp up for auction at Sotheby’s

This is one of the world’s rarest stamps and when it goes up for auction in June it should fetch $20million. Its history since it was issued in 1856 is fascinating – and includes one murderous chapter, as Jonathan Gornall reports

 The Retreat at the Westin Abu Dhabi Golf Resort & Spa will screen IPL games on request. Lee Hoagland / The National

Top five places to catch an IPL game in the UAE

Enjoy all the 20/20 cricket action at a sports lounge near you – whether in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain or Dubai

 Iranian President Hassan Rouhani greets supporters after his arrival in Zahedan, the regional capital of Sistan and Baluchestan province on Tuesday, April 15, 2014. During Mr Rouhani's two-day visit, he will tour several other cities and hold meetings with local scholars and entrepreneurs. Maryam Rahmanian for The National

On the road with Hassan Rouhani

Iran's president is touring some of Iran's most underdeveloped provinces. Foreign correspondent Yeganeh Salehi is traveling with him.

 Barcelona’s Lionel Messi plays with a rugby ball during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, near Barcelona in Sant Joan Despi, April 15, 2014. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

In pictures: Barca play a little rugby before Copa del rey final

Barcelona and Real Madrid will play in the Copa del Rey final on Wednesday night but the day before the match, Braca players played a little rugby during a training session at Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper training camp, in Sant Joan Despi, Spain. Barca meet Real Madrid on Wednesday at 11.30pm (UAE time) and the match will be on BeIn Sports.

Events

To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National