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TN govt expresses concern over fishermen killing, SL Navy to probe case

News Agencies | Updated on: 7 March 2017, 15:17 IST

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Tuesday said the Government of India is deeply concerned at the killing of an Indian fisherman, adding that the Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation in the matter.

"Government of India is deeply concerned at the killing of an Indian fisherman. Our High Commissioner to Sri Lanka has taken up the matter with the Prime Minister of Sri Lanka. The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation," MEA official spokesperson Gopal Baglay said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy has categorically denied reports of firing at the Indian fishermen.

"It is stated that the Sri Lankan Navy patrols in the Northern waters are conducted by Fast Attack Craft and Fast Gun Boats and at no time are small boats being engaged for patrols off the Northern waters, since Indian trawlers are of quite large size," the navy said in a statement.

"Since, naval units are engaged in the scheduled Kachchattivu feast on 11th & 12th March, even patrols in this area have being concentrated towards Kachchattivu. According to reports around 5000 Indian fishermen and 150 boats are expected for the feast," it added.

However, the Sri Lankan Navy also stated that since there is an allegation of a shooting incident, it is carrying out a comprehensive investigation to find out the veracity of this alleged incident.

Meanwhile, the Tamil Nadu Government has announced Rs. five lakh for the dead and Rs. one lakh for the fisherman injured in shooting by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Condemning the killing of the fisherman, Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) working president M.K. Stalin has urged the Central Government to react strongly and demanded it to hold embassy-level talks at once on the issue.

"It's high time the Central Government reacts strongly to this problem. The Central Government cannot be a mute spectator. It should take up this issue with Indian ambassador in Sri Lanka or the High Commission of Sri Lanka in India," Stalin said in a statement.

The deceased was identified as a 22-year-old man named Pricho and his body was brought to the Rameshwaram Government Hospital at around 12:30 p.m.

As per reports, around 500 boats went for fishing on Friday evening from here and around 9 p.m.

The Sri Lankan Navy started firing in which Pricho died of the bullet injury on his neck and another man named Saravanan got injured.

Meanwhile, a case had been registered in the local police station.

According to reports, around three more fishermen have suffered injuries in the firing which occurred in Adambalam, that comes under Indian territory.

Last week, 15 Indian fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy and all their equipment and fishing gear was taken away.

The fresh incident of opening fire comes a day after Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palanisami wrote to the Centre over it not taking concrete steps in stopping the steady harassment of fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

The letter spoke in detail about how Indian fishermen were constantly being hauled by the Lankan Navy and also about their equipments and boats being seized without any law being followed.


First published: 7 March 2017, 15:18 IST