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Indian fishermen’s body seeks action against govt officials for allowing unregistered boats at sea amid Covid restrictions by Omkar Gokhale September 14,2020   |  Source: ENS

The Bombay High Court has directed the state government to respond to a plea filed by the fishermen community seeking action against Fisheries department officials for allegedly violating Covid-19 lockdown restrictions and allowing hundreds of boats without authorised licenses to freely manoeuvre along the shores of Maharashtra while targeting registered fisherfolk.

A division bench of Justices R D Dhanuka and Madhav Jamdar on September 10 heard, through videoconference, a plea filed by Damodar Tandel, chairman of the Akhil Maharashtra Machchimar Kriti Samiti, a state-level association of fishermen, through senior counsel Sanjay Singhvi and advocate Rahul Kamerkar.

Tandel contended, “Despite the stringent curfews and restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 lockdown, hundreds of boats without authorised licenses were found to be manoeuvring and trawling using purse seine nets and LED-lights along the shores of Maharashtra.”

The plea said while the authorities in Ratnagiri district had taken prompt action against alleged violations by individual and marginalised fisherfolks, it “blatantly” continued to ignore complaints by the petitioner against illegal trawling by large boats. On the other hand, thousands of traditional fishermen, who followed rules and regulations


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