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NIO's staff attacked at sea
A team of NIO's staff from its Regional Centre at Visakhapatnam on field work in the sea off the coast of Udupi were attacked on 8 October 2007 at around 11.45 hrs. The staff - S/Shri YSN Raju, MK Prem kumar, Ch. Jawahar Kumar and A Suri babu - along with the boat driver and two deck hands were on a hired fishing boat 'M. Annani' from Mangalore Fishing Harbour. The boat had sailed earlier that day to conduct an oceanographic study in the area between Suratkal and Udupi (lat 13°10' and long. 74° 45'). They reached the study area at around 09:30 hrs and initiated their work. At about 11:45 hrs, when the team reached off Padubidri, a group of unknown people (around 100) came in 4 dinghy boats and surrounded the boat hired by NIO. About 30-40 persons entered the hired boat, manhandled the staff and the boat crew, and threw overboard the scientific equipment that was being used by NIO staff. The intruders then forced the NIO team to leave the area. The cost of scientific equipment thrown overboard is estimated at around Rs.55-60 lakhs. It consists of a seismic profiler, an echo sounder, a side scan sonar, a navigation equipment and other miscellaneous items. The NIO team had to return to Mangalore to report and discuss the matter with the other members of the team from NIO. An FIR was filed on 09.10.2007 at 19:00 hrs at the Panambur Police Station, Mangalore under whose jurisdiction the area of attack falls. The team has now returned to Visakhapatnam. NIO expresses its deep gratitude to all those who contacted us and helped in getting the team safely back, in particular the New Mangalore Port authorities.
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