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MV Iceberg: 30 sailors still held in captivity

Jan 10, 2012 10:23 PM IST India India

New Delhi: Even as 17 Indian sailors freed by Somali pirates are reunited with their families, there are many others still held hostage. Parents of the Indian sailors on board the MV Iceberg are running from pillar to post in the capital to get their children back to safety. Rahul Puranik, crew member of merchant ship Savina Caylyn embraced his 4-year-old daughter on Tuesday after 10 long months. Along with him, ordeal of 17 other Indian sailors also came to an end in the wee hours of Tuesday. However, not everyone is as fortunate. The hapless tears of Pushpa Tiwari, mother of Dheeraj Tiwari who is in Somali pirates’ captivity for over 22 months now, haven't stopped since March 2010 when MV Iceberg was hijacked. "Ever since we got to know that two Indian sailors are not keeping well, we are dying a new death every day," she said. Families of the 6 MV Iceberg sailors are now camping in the capital to get the government to facilitate a meeting with the ship owner who seems oblivious to their suffering. Said Purshottam Tiwari, the father of one of the sailors, "We want that we should be taken to Dubai where we can have a talk with the ship owner." CNN-IBN had first established communication with the captive sailors in Somalia last year and had initiated a campaign 'Save Our Sailors'. Even the Prime Minister had met the families. However, a year later, the Tiwari family is back in the capital with an even more fragile hope. Mudassar Modak, one of the released sailors, said, "We were in captivity for 10 months but MV Iceberg has been there for 22 months. Can't even imagine the suffering of the MV Iceberg sailors." The number of hijackings has significantly reduced in the last few months. However the release of the 30 captive sailors is moving at an excruciatingly slow pace owing to the lack of international will to fight piracy. Even though they have no one to support them financially or diplomatically, and no way of talking to the shipowner, these distressed families are hoping and praying that their children will sail through these troubled waters and come back home soon.