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Body of fourth fisherman found

Police today found the body of the fourth fisherman who had gone missing after setting out to sea from Rameswaram early this month.

india Updated: Apr 16, 2011 21:33 IST

Police on Saturday found the body of the fourth fisherman who had gone missing after setting out to sea from Rameswaram early this month.

The body of Marimuthu, who had gone missing on April 2 along with three other fishermen, was found at Kodiakarai in Nagapattinam district, fisheries and police officials said. The body bore injury marks as in the case of the other three, whose bodies have already been found, officials said, adding, it was being taken to his native place Virudhunagar.

Victus, Anthony, Johnpaul and Marimuthu, all from Thangachimadam here, had ventured into the sea on April 2 but did not return after two days as scheduled.

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

Expressing concern over the killings, Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj on Saturday called up external affairs minister S M Krishna to discuss the matter. Swaraj said she had taken up the issue with Krishna, who is now in Bangalore, after receiving information that all the four Indian fishermen have been killed.

"He (Krishna) has promised to ascertain facts and revert at the earliest," she said on Twitter. Swaraj said she has also spoken to BJP Organisation Secretary of Tamil Nadu Mohan Rajlu and asked him to visit Rameshwaram.

On April 6, the body of Victus was found washed ashore at Nedunthivu along the Sri Lankan coast. The body was buried at Jaffna on April 10 after fishermen, including the brother of Victus, went there and identified it.

The highly decomposed body of Anthony was found in sea off Solaikudi near here on April 12, while that of Johnpaul was found washed ashore a day later.

The Tamil Nadu Government has announced Rs 5 lakh as relief to the next of kin of each fisherman, but it is yet to be disbursed in view of the Assembly elections.

Congress MLA from Ramanathapuram Hasan Ali, seeking re-election from the seat, visited the families of the four fishermen on Saturday and gave them Rs 3.5 lakh as relief.

Swaraj has been raising the issue in and outside Parliament and has even visited the family members of two fishermen from Nagapattinam who reportedly died after being attacked by the Sri Lankan navy.

After the earlier incidents, Krishna had visited Swaraj and apprised her of steps being taken to sort out the issue, including holding talks with Sri Lanka.

Top Indian officials have also visited Colombo and registered their complaint with the Sri Lankan government.