Mumbai: Fishermen booked for attempt to murder

The Yellow Gate police has registered a case of attempt to murder and wrongful restrain against a group of fishermen for allegedly ramming a boat occupied by another group of fishermen from Vasai with an intent of sinking it.

The incident took place around 6.30 pm on Saturday, when the complainant in the case, William Natharem, along with eight other fishermen, went into the Arabian Sea to fish.

The police said the incident was the result of an argument over fishing jurisdiction. A fisherman, occupant of Natharem’s boat, sustained injuries in the attack.

In his complaint to the police, Natharem said, “We were fishing in the Arabian Sea at a distance of about 85 nautical miles from Vasai. Around 6.30 pm, another fishing boat started dropping nets in front of ours.”

Initially, Natharem claimed they requested the other boat to leave its nets on the other side, as they had entered their fishing area.

But as they refused, a verbal spat ensued between the two groups.

The fishermen from the other boat called in seven to eight other fishing boats and encircled Natharem’s boat.

“They started hitting their boat in the water with an intention of damaging our boat so that it sinks,” Natharem said in his statement. He added that a while later, some fishermen from the boats that had encircled his boat assaulted him and others with bamboo and iron rods. One of his employees sustained injury on his left leg.

“They even obstructed our way ensuring that we cannot escape. However, a while later, they left… as one of our co-worker was bleeding profusely, we went back to the Panchu Bandar coast in Vasai and took him to a government hospital,” said the complainant.

On Sunday, Natharem approached the Vasai police and lodged a complaint.

A case of attempt to murder, wrongful restrain, rioting and assault was subsequently registered.

“The case has been transferred to our police station as the Arabian Sea comes in our jurisdiction,” said an officer from Yellow Gate police. “We received the case papers on Wednesday and have been told that the accused’s boat is from Daman. We will soon start calling the complainant and the witnesses to record their statements… Accordingly, arrests shall be made,” the officer added.