On Thursday India informed that it is constantly coordinating and deliberating with China to bring back the sixteen Indian soldiers who are stuck and stranded on a cargo ship in the Chinese waters. The sixteen Indian soldiers are stuck in the Chinese waters since almost four months.
Thirty-nine Indian crew members were stranded and stuck on two cargo ships in the Chinese waters. Out of the thirty-nine soldiers, twenty-three are stuck on board MV Jag Anand that is returning to India.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Annurag Srivastava briefed the media on the news. Anurag Srivastava said, “As regards MV Anastasia, we are closely and constantly coordinating with the Chinese authorities who are finalising the process or SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) to effect crew change at anchorage.”
Anurag Srivastava furthermore said, “As soon as this is received from the Chinese authorities and the crew members are back home safely, the company that owns the ship is expected to initiate the process of crew change.”
Anurag Srivastava also said that the MEA and the Indian mission in China have been constantly pursuing the issue of crew change of Indian sailors on board the two ships.
Mr Srivastava said, “On MV Jag Anand, the owner which is the Great Eastern Shipping Company has informed that they had decided to undertake the crew change in China, Japan, where the ship will disembark twenty-three crew members and take twenty-three replacement crew members. The disembarking crew will be flown back to their home towns in India from Tokyo.”
Earlier in January, India had sought ‘urgent, practical and time-bound’ assistance for the thirty-nine soldiers stranded on the two ships considering the ‘grave’ humanitarian situation developing on board the vessels. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Chinese authorities did not allow the ships to either dock or opt for a crew change in the last four months.