x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

US navy shooting victim to be flown home

The 29-year-old's body is being accompanied by his cousin, Muthuswamy, who also works in Dubai as a fisherman.

DUBAI // The body of the fisherman killed last week after an American navy ship opened fire on the boat he was working on will be repatriated to India today.

A Sekar's body will be sent on an Air India Express flight to Trichy airport in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

"The post-mortem and formalities have been completed," said MK Lokesh, Indian ambassador. "The body is being taken to Trichy on the 10.30 am flight," he said.

Sekar's body will reach his family nearly 10 days after USNS Rappahannock opened fire on an Emirati boat carrying six Indian crew and two Emiratis.

Three others - Muthu Muniraj, 28, Muthu Kannan, 40, and Pandu Sanadhan, 26 - were all injured in the firing.

The 29-year-old's body is being accompanied by his cousin, Muthuswamy, who also works in Dubai as a fisherman.

"It will be very difficult too see his family when I return," said Mr Muthuswamy. "His parents will be very upset."

An ambulance will take them to Mr Sekar's hometown in Ramanthapuram district, which is four hours drive from the airport. The Indian consulate is paying for Mr Muthuswamy's ticket.

Yesterday, the injured men were still recovering at the hospital.

"They have inserted a steel rod in my left leg," said Mr Muniraj, who received bullet wounds. Doctors have also recommended skin grafting to heal his injuries.

"I don't feel much pain. My family is much more relaxed now that I have spoken to them a few times and assured them that I am recovering," he said.

The Indian consulate has given food allowance to the other two Indian crew, who escaped unhurt.

newsdesk@thenational.ae