Fired at Indian fishermen want to return to UAE

Dubai, May 11 (IANS) Two of the five Indian fishermen who survived after being shot at by the US Navy off the coast of Dubai in July last year have said they wanted to come back to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for work again.

Muthu Kannan and Kumaresan, both from Tamil Nadu, were among six Indians and two Emiratis on board the fishing boat when it was fired at by the USNS Rappahannock July 16, 2012.

One Indian, Arumugam Sekar, 29, died in the incident which happened after the fishing ship came too close to the American refuelling ship.

“I have to work to feed my family,” Kannan was quoted as saying from Tamil Nadu by The National newspaper Saturday.

“After I was shot, they were scared about me going back. But if I don’t, how will the money come? I’m a fisherman but I can do other work also. I will find a job anywhere, in a shop maybe. Here there is no work I just sit and wait for jobs.”

Both Kannan and Kumaresan and another Indian fisherman, Pandu Sandhan had sustained bullet injuries in the incident.

The US Navy later paid 33,000 dirhams to deceased Sekar’s family and 3,000 dirhams to each of the three injured.

Kumaresan too was quoted as saying that wanted to return to the UAE to find work because of financial pressures at home.

“Things aren’t good back at home,” he said. “I am the oldest in the family and have four younger brothers to support. The cost of living is high here.”

He used to earn 1,000 dirhams a month in Dubai and sent the equivalent amount home every two months.

“Our relatives are helping us with money and food now as I have been unable to find work,” he said, adding he planned to return in a couple of months.

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