An Ashington sailor stranded in India suffered cuts and bruises after being assaulted by local police officers at the weekend.
Nick, who has been stranded in India for a year since the vessel he was on was detained by Indian authorities, had gone to a nearby hotel in Chennai on Sunday to watch a football match on television.
But as he headed back to his hostel, he was approached by five police officers who demanded to see his papers and passport – which are still held by the Indian authorities as he and his colleagues battle to be allowed home after charges against them were dropped.
The police officers then grabbed him by the feet and dragged him along the ground, suffering cuts and grazes to his hands and arms.
Nick was questioned in the police station before the officers checked the situation with Q Branch Police, who have lodged an appeal against the charges being dropped.
Once the situation was resolved, the police took Nick back to his hostel and said there were no problems.
But Nick’s sister Lisa has hit out at the treatment the detained men are receiving.
She said: “Nick very rarely leaves the room in the hostel which he shares with three other men, so this small act of watching his football team brings to him a sense of escapism and also normality from the day to day situation he is existing in.
“Nick and his colleagues are and have been continually intimidated and harassed by Q Branch Police.
“My brother is being forced to live in a country terrified that any second, he will be thrown back in a prison cell where he has already spent six months of his life.
“He barely leaves his room, only so he can eat and also to attend the gym once a day to ensure he tries to keep his state of mind and body as healthy as he can. Other than that, he tends to stay in his room.
“I cannot put into words how upset I am and how absolutely appalled and angered by this recent incident.”