Tamil Diplomat

Rameswaram fishermen allege attack

A boat owner in Rameswaram has alleged that the Sri Lankan Navy threw a petrol bomb at his boat while fishing near Katchatheevu along with three of his crew members around 4 p.m. on Wednesday . M. Arokiyam of Thangachimadam lodged a complaint with the Fisheries Department here on Friday alleging that the Sri Lankan Navy threw a polythene bag filled with petrol at his boat. The bag fell on the silencer and caught fire.

The fire was put out before it could spread. No one was injured . However, sources in the Fisheries Department said, the fisherman could not clearly say if it was the Sri Lankan Navy that threw the bag. Arokiyam could not give any number or any identification of the Sri Lankan vessel, the sources said. He also could not coherently recall the incident. After the alleged incident, the four fishermen on board went ahead with fishing and returned to the shore only on Friday morning, the sources said.

Condemning the incident, Fishermen leader P. Sesu Raja said the Sri Lankan Navy had resorted to throwing petrol bags to terrorise the Indian fishermen after a gap of two years. He urged the Centre to prevail upon the Sri Lankan government to stop such attacks. Two years ago, the Sri Lankan Navy had sunk at least five Indian fishing boats by throwing petrol bombs, he said. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a two-day visit to Sri Lanka from Friday, should take up the issue with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and help to find a lasting solution to the dispute over fishing in the Palk Bay.