Who Is Antessa Joseph, The Kerala Woman Among 17 Indians Trapped In Cargo Ship Seized By Iran

The Chief Minister’s Office in Kerala said that initially there was no information about the presence of the woman.

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Iranian Cargo Ship With Pakistanis, Iranians Aboard Saved From Pirates By Indian Navy
Image tweeted by @indiannavy

Thrissur: Antessa Joseph is one of the Kerala woman among 17 other Indians who has been trapped in a cargo ship seized by Iran. She was among others onboard an Israel-linked cargo ship seized by Iran in the gulf region, her family has said.

The family of the woman, Antessa Joseph, said in a video shown on TV channels that she was also among the crew of the ship, but there was no mention of her in the Kerala Chief Minister’s letter to the External Affairs Ministry.

Subsequently, an official in the Chief Minister’s Office said that initially there was no information about the presence of the woman.

When they came to know about it, the matter was taken up with the Central government, the official said.

The Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) has also been directed to take necessary steps, the official added.

Who is Antessa Joseph?

As per her family sources, Antessa was part of the crew, whose name was omitted from an official communication by Kerala’s Chief Minister to the Ministry of External Affairs. This has led to heightened anxiety and calls for swift governmental intervention.

Later, the CMO clarified that the initial oversight was due to a lack of information regarding Antessa’s presence on the ship. Measures are now being taken, with the Department of Non-Resident Keralites Affairs (NORKA) being directed to assist in the matter.

Her father said that he has not received any updates from the state or the Central governments regarding his daughter’s current status.

“It is the company, which owns the ship, that has informed me that my daughter is safe,” he said.

He further said that he last spoke to his daughter on Friday.

“She calls every morning regularly. When that did not happen on the next day, we tried to call her, but could not reach her. Then in the afternoon, the company which owns the ship called and told us what happened,” he said.

What Iran Said About Indians Trapped in The Ship

In the meantime, Iran has said that Tehran will “soon” allow Indian authorities to meet the 17 Indian crew members onboard the cargo vessel.

Vijayan had on Sunday sought the intervention of the External Affairs Ministry for the safe return of the Indian nationals including three from the state who are onboard the vessel.

The ship – MSC Aries – was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards near the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday, April 13.

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