Tuesday, January 26, 2021
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Indian Navy promptly denies Shashi Tharoor’s allegations about it not picking up bodies of Ockhi victims

The cyclone Ockhi from about 29th November to 6th December wrecked devastating havoc along the coastal areas bordering the Arabian sea.

In India the total death toll has been pegged at 36, with at-least 96 fishermen still expected missing. This uncertainty has resulted in 44 fishermen communities staging massive protests against the Tamil Nadu government for failing to save the fishermen who were in the sea when cyclone struck.

In order to rescue those affected, the Indian Navy launched a major rescue operation called Op Sahayam:

Via this operation, the Navy had launched a Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief program involving nine Naval ships and four types of aircraft namely P8I, Dornier, SeaKing and Chetak.

One of the states majorly affected by this tragedy is Kerala. The Chief Minister of Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday decided to politicise this grave matter by alleging discrimination by the Modi government in the aftermath of this cyclone.

Today, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is an MP from Thiruvananthapuram decided to visit the affected fishing villages and later took to twitter to share his experience.

As per him, after the interaction he spoke to Defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman to inform her about the reported anger among the fishing communities about the Navy not picking up dead bodies due to lack of on board freezer:

This was a serious charge as if the Navy was failing to bring back dead bodies, it was a major shortcoming in the whole rescue operation.

Barely about an hour after Tharoor’s tweet, the spokesperson of the Indian navy replied to his tweet. Here the Navy denied the charge of them ever refusing to pick up bodies and stated that they would continue to bring bodies ashore:

The spokesperson also tagged various twitter handles including that of Nirmala Sitharaman, PMO India and Indian Army, to convey their response in this matter.

Tharoor too later responded back by claiming that he was merely reporting what the residents of Pozhiyoor village had told him:

One hopes that this episode results in a thorough investigation of the matter so that such confusion doesn’t happen in the future.

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