A few days ago, we mentioned about a Bolivian flagged vessel named Haddad 1 which was seized at the Greek coast as the vessel which was supposed to be carrying furniture on board but instead was carrying 500,000 rounds of ammunition and 5,000 rifles along with 4900 cartons of cigarettes. This vessel was headed towards Misrata, a port in Libya which is currently under the control of Islamist coalition called Libya Dawn. This incident happened in September 2015 and the entire ship crew of 5 members including 2 Indians are in Greek custody since then.
Mr. Kalpesh Rajendra Shinde and Mr. Jignesh Kasthuri Sundaraj are in Greek judicial custody since September 2015 and no one in Indian media is talking about it. Kalpesh and Jignesh do not have any previous criminal record and this was their first sailing assignment as Merchant Navy Officers.
We spoke with the families of these two and it has been evident that though Indian Embassy in Greece is assisting in this case, the tweets to Sushma Swaraj have been unanswered. As ISIS is allegedly involved in this ammunition racket, the Indian government is placing its feet cautiously on the shaking ground due to ISIS involvement.
The gravity of the crime is severe, there is no doubt but Kalpesh’s and Jignesh’s parents have been reinstating that their boys are not involved in this and were not aware of the ammunition being loaded under furniture. The documents of the ship said furniture and they believed it to be furniture.
We understand the crime is grave but these two Indians have not even got bail and an advanced trial date has not been received due to local strikes. It is 7 months now and Kalpesh and Jignesh are still in Greek custody with no contact with their family. Their only hope is the lawyer appointed by Greece.
What is our Foreign Ministry doing to expedite the trial process of Mr. Kalpesh Rajendra Shinde and Mr. Jignesh Kasthuri Sundaraj?