The Sri Lankan navy has allegedly shot dead a 21-year-old fisherman and injured some others when they opened fire on fishermen from Rameswaram, who allegedly poached in Lankan waters on Monday night.
The fishermen who set out for ‘night fishing’ from the fishing jetty here on Monday evening, were fishing on the high seas around 10 pm, when the Lankan navy allegedly opened fire, reports received here said.
The deceased fisherman was identified as K. Britso (21) from Thangachimadam. He was one of the six fishermen onboard a mechanised boat targeted by the Lankan navy, the reports said. Saran (37), the injured fisherman was rushed to the Government headquarters hospital in Ramanathapuram in an ambulance after the fishermen reached the fishing jetty here abour 20 minutes past midnight.
He suffered injuries in his hand that didn’t appear to be a bullet injury, police said.
Soon after the firing, the fishermen onboard called their leaders P. Sesu Raja and Emirat in the island and asked them to alert the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) to come to their rescue. As the ICG personnel could not reach the spot immediately, the fishermen sailed back to shore and reached the fishing jetty after midnight.
Britso suffered a bullet injury on his neck and was profusely bleeding, the fishermen who accompanied him said. He succumbed to his wounds while being brought ashore, they said. The body of the deceased fisherman was kept at the government hospital mortuary here.
A tense situation prevailed at the fishing jetty as fishermen in the island gathered and shouted slogans against the Lankan navy and the Indian government for being ‘inept’.
On Tuesday morning, Rameswaram fishermen refused to accept the body of Britso. With family members of the deceased fisherman, the fisher folk launched an agitation in Thangachimadam demanding explanation from the Centre and Sri Lankan government for the loss of life and lasting solution for the more than three decade problem