Families of missing Tamil Nadu fishermen seek Kerala government's help

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Families of missing Tamil Nadu fishermen seek Kerala government's help

The families of Tamil Nadu fishermen missing in Cyclone Ockhi met Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday.

Families of 19 missing fishermen from Tuticorin district in Tamil Nadu visited Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Wednesday, seeking government's help to trace them.

These fishermen were reported missing in Cyclone Ockhi that lashed across the southern parts of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Fathima, a native of Tuticorin who is waiting for her husband Jude and Son Bharath, said that the Tamil Nadu government is not doing enough to find the missing fishermen. A six-member team, including Jude and Bharath, ventured into the sea on the evening of November 28.

Next day, their boat was hit by strong winds and everyone on the boat except one Jagan drowned when it capsized. According to Jagan, all the others were thrown into the sea by huge waves and strong winds caused by Cyclone Ockhi.

However, Jagan managed to cling on to one side of the capsized boat and was later rescued and brought to Thiruvananthapuram Medical College by combined rescue forces.

According to Fathima, the family received information that several bodies were brought to Kerala hospitals. "They have taken our DNA samples for identification. All we need to know is if our family is dead or alive," she said.

"We've heard that Kerala government has been extensively coordinating search and rescue operations, which is why we came here. We asked the Tamil Nadu government about our missing members but we are not getting any response", a weeping Fathima said.

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan has assured that the DNA test results will be provided within 24 hours. The Kerala government will ensure all necessary support to fishermen stranded in the sea irrespective of which state they hail from.