Tamil Diplomat

Sri Lanka Navy denies shooting Indian fisherman

Sri Lanka Navy today rejected the Indian media reports alleging that a 22-year-old Indian fisherman was shot dead by its personnel on Monday while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet.

“The incident occurred in the evening when Bridgo, from Thangachimadam in central Rameswaram of Tamil Nadu, 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 was quoted as saying by PTI.

Bridgo was shot in the neck and died on the spot, he said.  He added that 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 PTI 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. Kulanchinathan said the body has been brought to the Rameswaram hospital and a case has been registered at the Jetty police station. 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.

However, the Navy spokesperson Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge, speaking to Ada Derana, rejected the allegations and denied any such shooting had occurred in the area.  PTI