Sajitha cannot believe her ears. Her husband Andi Vijayan will be landing at Cochin airport on Friday evening. She and her twin children, Rohit and Roshini, both class eight students, will be leaving for the airport in the morning to receive him.
The airport is 150km away from their home in Karavumpara village in Kerala’s Palakkad district.
Vijayan, too, was languishing in the Togo jail for the last five months along with Captain Sunil James.
On Thursday, the 47-year-old third engineer was released from the jail along with Captain Sunil James. Vijayan’s flight is expected to land at Cochin airport by 4pm.
“I came to know of his release from TV. I couldn’t believe my ears. I immediately called up my children and gave them the good news. An hour later, Accord Marine Management, the Mumbai-based crew-supplying firm, called me,” 37-year-old Sajitha told dna.
Unlike Captain James’ family, Vijayan’s family didn’t pile pressure on the Union government to secure his release. “He called me when he was arrested by the Togo police on July 16. He said he would be set free in a week. He asked me not to tell anybody. So I kept silent for a month. But when there were no more phone calls, I told my children and then disclosed it to my brothers,’’ she said.
Then, a few weeks ago, she sought assistance from chief minister Oommen Chandy, defence minister AK Antony and overseas affairs minister Vayalar Ravi. She said she does not know under what circumstance he has been released. “The Captain was released to attend the funeral of his son. There was no such humanitarian ground in my husband’s case. I believe he does not keep good health, so he was set free.’’ Sajitha said.
Vijayan has been a sailor since 1988. He took up the job with MT Ocean Centurion on November 28 and boarded the ship from a Nigerian port.