Fisherman shot dead by Lankan navy, India lodges protest

RSTV Bureau
Representative Image

Representative Image

India has reacted strongly to the incident of fatal shooting of its fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy. Deeply concerned over the incident, India has raised the issue with Lankan Prime Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.

A 22-year-old fisherman, named Bridgo, a resident of Thangachimadam in central Rameswaram of Tamil Nadu was shot dead yesterday allegedly while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet.

The government is “deeply concerned” over the killing of the Indian fisherman and the Indian High Commissioner in Colombo has taken up the matter with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka, sources here said.

The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation, they said.

According to the reports, the incident occurred on Monday evening when the fisherman was fishing near the islet along with others and the Sri Lankan naval personnel arrived at the spot and opened fire, Fisheries Department Assistant Director Kulanchinathan said.

He was shot in the neck and died on the spot, the officer told, adding another fisherman, Saravanan (22), suffered injuries in his leg in the firing while others who went along with them escaped unhurt and returned to the shore at 12.30 AM.

Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told the news agency that more than 2,000 fishermen were fishing well within Indian waters when the Sri Lankan naval personnel came to the spot taking them by surprise.

The Lankan navy officials did not even fire a warning shot, he alleged.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the area as fishermen from Thangachimadam coastal hamlet gathered in front of the hospital to protest the firing by the Sri Lankan navy.

Earlier, Tamil Nadu CM K Palaniswami had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where he had referred to the arrest of 32 Indian fishermen by the Lankan authorities in the last few days. Palaniswami said these incidents were causing hardship and mental agony to the fishermen community.

Noting that currently there were 85 fishermen and 128 fishing boats in Lankan custody, he had urged Modi to direct the External Affairs Ministry officials concerned to take concrete action through diplomatic channels to secure their release.

(With inputs from the PTI)