Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Saturday called on the family of Valentine (Jelestine) who was shot dead on sea on Wednesday by the crew of an Italian merchant vessel.
The Chief Minister consoled Valentine's wife, Dora, and sons, Derrick and Jean, and assured them that the government was duty-bound to assist the family. Jean, 9, studying in Class IV, wept when Mr.Chandy hugged him.
There were 11 fishermen on board the vessel. While 22-year-old Pinku, who hailed from Poothurai in Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, was also killed in the firing, the nine others had a miraculous escape.
Talking to mediapersons after the visit, the Chief Minister said the killing of the fishermen was cold-blooded murder. He congratulated the Coast Guard for taking immediate steps to detain the ship. Mr. Chandy was hopeful that the arrest of those involved would not be delayed. At the same time, the case has to be carefully drafted and registered to ensure that the accused do not get the advantage of legal loopholes to escape.
He said those in the detained Italian ship would have to abide by the laws of the land. “The government will take the responsibility of initiating moves to secure adequate compensation from the Italian shipping company for the dependants of those killed”.