Missing fishermen’s relatives want bodies exhumed

Relatives of the missing Annandale fishermen said they are awaiting word from the Home Affairs Ministry on the exhumation of what could be the remains of their loved ones. The relatives of the men met Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee on Saturday last.

According to the relatives, they were to receive word from the minister yesterday on the possibility of exhumation of the three bodies.

On October 12, Rameshwar Gangadin, his brother Navendra Gangadin, Patrick Parboo, his cousin Davendra Persaud, Christopher Rooplall and Mark Sylvester left on a fishing trip and were never seen nor heard from again. However, following reports in the media about two bodies washing ashore some three weeks ago and another surfacing on Thursday last in the Berbice area the relatives decided to see if the bodies could be identified. According to the relatives, two of the three men, Rameshwar Gangadin and Parboo were identified by their clothing, while Sylvester was identified by his clothing and a burn mark on his left side. However, Commander of ‘B’ Division Clinton Conway in an invited comment told Stabroek News that as far as he was aware none of the bodies had been identified as they were all decomposed beyond recognition. The commander acknowledged that the relatives had visited Berbice and were shown clothing removed from two of the bodies, but said that was not sufficient for identification.

Police buried two of the bodies at the Stanleytown Cemetery on Wednesday last, after they had been laying at Ramoo’s Funeral Parlour for some two weeks. The third body was buried on Friday last at the Whim foreshore after relatives viewed it. Asked about DNA testing, the commander said samples were taken from all three of the bodies and these were in the possession of the police.

Meanwhile, Persaud, Rooplall and Navendra Gangadin are still listed as missing and relatives said they have not yet given up hope as only on Sunday last they ventured back into the sea to look for the men.

Rooplall’s father, Harrynarine Rooplall said if another body were found he would be willing to pay to have a DNA test done to find out if it were indeed his son.

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