Thiruvananthapuram/Kollam: Expressing satisfaction over Kerala Police's progress of investigation into the killing of two Indian fishermen allegedly by an Italian ship's naval guards, Defence Minister A K Antony on Sunday said the Centre would take measures to strengthen coastal security and safety of fishermen.

After visiting family members of Valentine Jalastine, one of the fishermen killed in the incident at Kollam, he said the activities of the Navy and Coast Guard would be co-ordinated to strengthen coastal security.

He said functioning of coastal police would be improved to ensure security of the coast and safety of fishermen.

Antony spent about 30 minutes with the bereaved family members, consoled Jalastine's wife Dora and two sons and assured them the state and Centre would make joint efforts to ensure they receive due compensation from those responsible for the killing.

Earlier, talking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram, he said investigation in the case is progressing in the right direction under Indian law. "The case will be proceeded under Indian law. Judiciary in the country is independent," he said.

"The incident of shooting down of two hapless fishermen off Kollam coast on Feb 15 is unforutnate and condemnable," he said.

Antony said investigation in the case was progressing well and Kerala government was handling it very strongly and powerfully and that the Centre has extended full support to the state's initiatives.

The arrested guards - Latore Massimiliano and Salvatore Girone have been charged with murder under Section 302 of IPC.

 A Special Investigation team led by Kochi Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar is probing the case.

The deceased - Valentine Jalastine and Ajeesh Binki – had set out to sea in a boat along with nine fishermen from Neendakara fishing harbour. They were allegedly killed by the marines of 'Enrica Lexie' who fired at their boat on February 15.

Italian authorities have contended that the boat was fired at mistaking it to be a pirates' vessel.

(Agencies)