The body of a fisherman, believed to be that of one of the four Indian fishermen who went missing after their boat sank while fishing on the high seas in the early hours of November 29, was found washed ashore off Talaimannar in Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported.
Indian Police inquiries revealed that the highly decomposed body was that of N. Zakir Hussain (32), one of the four fishermen who had set out for fishing and went missing after the boat sank following seepage of seawater through a broken wooden plank. When police showed the photograph of the body and identification marks of a tattoo on his left hand and steel ring and black half-pants he was wearing, Hussain’s wife Jemila Begum (28) confirmed that it was the body of her husband.
The fisherman, who was initially identified as Ramasamy, is survived by his wife and two young children. Three other fishermen, Sudalaimani, Anthonysamy and Muniasamy, are also feared drowned.
“It is my husband’s body and he had tattooed his niece’s name Rubina on his left forearm,” Begum told the police. Her husband was also wearing a steel ring, she said and the identification matched with a ring on the body.
The young woman with a three-year-old son and two-year-old daughter was left in the lurch after losing the sole breadwinner. After her husband went missing, Begum, who was living in a rented house at Sivagami Nagar, moved to her mother’s place here, she said.
“I have nothing left with me and I do not know how I will bring up my children,” she told The Hindu . She appealed to the government to provide her a livelihood and help her to educate her children.
She would not mind if the office of the Consulate General of India in Jaffna gave a decent burial to the body in Talaimannar itself, she said. Sources in the Fisheries Department said that based on communication from the Consulate General, they would obtain a consent letter from the family for the burial.
Meanwhile, U. Arulanandham, president, Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF), said that the government should provide compensation to the families of the three other fishermen also as their chances of survival were remote.