With every passing day, the chances of Captain Sunil James being able to see Vivaan, his 11-month-old son, one last time are getting bleak. Even after 14 days of Vivaan’s death, his body continues to be at the morgue in Cooper Hospital.
While support pours in for the family, they are encountered with a dilemma. “We learnt from our lawyers on Monday that the prosecutor will review and provide direction at the end of day on Tuesday. The lawyers indicated that a date for the trial is likely to be set on December 27. We were under the impression that the court was hearing the case all this while. If the Indian government does not intervene immediately, this is a lost battle. We will have to take a decision on Vivaan’s burial,” said Rakesh Madappa, Sunil’s brother-in-law.
On Monday, members of the Catholic Church in Mumbai, community groups and the minorities commission met the family to extend their solidarity. “It is extremely sad to see a family in such a situation. It is a feeling of helplessness but we will try to help from our end,” said Bishop Agnelo Gracias, auxiliary bishop of Mumbai, who visited the family home in Malad.
The bishop has said that he will try to establish contact with the church in Togo to consider the case on humanitarian grounds. “If the officials are not able to help yet, we will try to see if the church can intervene and help the family. I will write a letter or try and call the bishop there,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Indian officials in Togo continue to remain in the dark on Sunil’s return. “We were very hopeful last week... however, the court has not made a decision yet and we continue to wait for a proper word from their authorities. Until then, we can just keep trying,” Satish Sakleshpur, second secretary at the Indian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, told dna on Monday evening.
Sunil and two others have been under arrest in the West African country of Togo on the charge of aiding pirates loot the Marshall Islands’ MT Ocean Centurion.