Tamil Nadu: Fishermen demand enquiry to probe deaths of colleagues

Last Updated: Sunday, April 17, 2011 - 19:48

Rameswaram: Fishermen here on Sunday demanded the
setting up of an enquiry commission to probe the death of four
Indian fishermen whose bodies were found one after the other
over the past two weeks after they went missing while at sea
on April 2.

Meeting the Minister for Slum Clearance Su Ba Thangavelan
who comforted the families of the fishermen whose bodies were
washed ashore, CITU District President Gnanaseelan requested
that in view of the hardship faced by the fishermen in this
region, an enquiry commission be set up "to punish the guilty
and save the fishermen".

He told the Minister that the body of one of the deceased
fishermen, Victus, was found to bear many cuts and the right
hand of another deceased fisherman, Johnpaul, had been chopped
off.

The Minister, who handed over a cash assistance of
Rs 10,000 to each of the bereaved families, told PTI that the
solatium of Rs 5 lakh announced by the Tamil Nadu government
would be released after getting permission from the Election
Commission and the children of the deceased would be provided
food under the Noon Meal Scheme when the DMK government "came
back to power" after the elections.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi had already written
to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to take immediate
steps to stop the "inhuman activities" of the Sri Lankan Navy,
the Minister added.

The body of Marimuthu, one of the four fishermen who had
gone missing since April 2 after putting out to sea from here,
was yesterday found washed ashore at Kodiakarai in
Nagapattinam District.

With the recovery of Marimuthu`s body, all the four
fishermen missing were confirmed dead. The bodies of the other
three were recovered earlier, fisheries and police officials
had said.

Marimuthu along with Victus, Anthony and Johnpaul, all
three hailing from Thangachimadam in Nagapattinam district,
had ventured into the sea on April 2 but did not return after
two days as scheduled.

Local fishermen have alleged that all their four colleagues
had been tortured to death by Sri Lankan naval personnel and
the bodies dumped by them one by one into sea.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, April 17, 2011 - 19:48

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