India in touch with Togo officials for early release of sailor

Indian officials from Accra on Saturday met the jailed Indian sailor whose family eagerly awaits his return for performing the last rites of his 11-month son who died earlier this week even as they were in touch with Togo authorities to secure his early release on "compassionate ground".

The officials, including one from the Mission in Accra, met Capt Sunil James in the prison, sources said, adding they were making all efforts to secure the release and will continue to pursue the matter with Togo authorities.

Indian Mission in Accra was overseeing the developments in the case, spokesperson in the Ministry of External Affairs had said yesterday.

Captain Sunil James is under arrest in the west African country Togo since July on the charge of aiding pirates who had attacked and looted his Marshall Islands-flagged MT Ocean Centurion on July 16.

The spokesperson also said the mission and India's Honorary Consul in Lome have been in touch with Togo authorities including the Minister of Justice since August 2, when the matter came to their attention.

According to reports, the sailor's 31-year-old wife Aditi and others in the family want James to conduct the last rites of his son whose body is lying in a hospital morgue since the toddler's death from septicaemia on December 2.

It was reported that the infant, Vivaan, underwent an operation for intestinal gangrene but doctors could not save him as the infection had spread to his bloodstream.

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