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Bodies of fishermen killed in sea brought ashore

The Kerala cabinet on Thursday decided to give Rs 5 lakh compensation each to the next of kin of the two fishermen shot dead by security officials of an Italian cargo vessel after being mistaken for pirates, a minister said as investigations into the incident got under way.

india Updated: Feb 16, 2012 12:49 IST

The bodies of two fishermen, who were shot dead allegedly by security guards of an Italian ship off Kollam coast on suspicion of being pirates, were brought in Kollam by Coast Guard and Marine Enforcement authorities.

The preliminary assessment of the marine authorities is that armed guards aboard the ship might have fired at the fishing boat mistaking it for a vessel of pirates, official sources said.

'Enrica Lexie,' an Italian ship, is also being brought to Kochi for interrogation of its crew as part of investigation into the incident. The bodies were brought in Kollam late on Wednesday night.

In the aftermath of the incident on Wednesday, the Coast Guard had launched two ships 'Sumar' and 'Lakshmi Bai' and an aircraft to trace the ship, located it and asked it to anchor off Kochi for a detailed investigation.

The state government has announced a solatium of Rs 5 lakh for the families of the deceased fishermen, identified as Ajesh Binki (25) and Jalastein (45). They belonged to Colachal but had settled in Kerala for the last several years.

The district administration announced an emergency relief payment of Rs 10,000 each for the kin of the killed.

Fellow fishermen, who were in the same boat as Binki and Jalastein, said the boat had 11 fishermen, out of which two had been hit in the firing.

The bodies would be sent for post-mortem to the Medical College Hospital in Thiruvananthapuram later in the day after completing the initial legal formalities, police said.

The fishermen, who hail from Colachal area in Kanyakumari district Tamil Nadu, had put out to sea two days ago from Neendakara in Kollam district.

First Published: Feb 16, 2012 12:35 IST