Attacks on fishermen by Lankan Navy "transitional"

A top Indian Naval officer on Thursday said that there was no "pre-planned" method adopted by Sri Lankan Navy in attacking Indian fishermen who strayed into their waters.

Coimbatore: A top Indian Naval officer on Thursday
said that there was no "pre-planned" method adopted by Sri
Lankan Navy in attacking Indian fishermen who strayed into
their waters.

"These are transitional incidents and there is no
pre-planned method adopted by Sri Lanka (Navy) in attacking
fishermen, who strayed into its border," Flag Officer
Commanding in Chief, Southern Naval Command,Vice-Admiral K N
Sushil told reporters.
He was replying to a question on Tamil Nadu fishermen
being fired at or killed allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy.

When fishermen straying into Sri Lankan area are stopped
by the Navy, they start running out of fear of being caught,
leading to suspicion.

As there was reported movement of LTTE cadre in the
sea, the Naval force has no other option, but to fire, as per
the job given to them, for that matter any force, Sushil said.

"I don`t think that there was any incident, when Sri
Lanka deliberately opened fire on Indian fishermen," he said,
adding, proper investigation would throw light on such
incidents, if any.

India`s relationship with Sri Lanka, Government to
Government and Navy to Navy was very good and the Lankan Chief
of Naval Staff would visit India soon, Sushil, here to
felicitate two officers, who had won medals in the recently
concluded Commonwealth Games, he said.
Claiming that the fishermen in the coastal areas were
very cooperative with the enforcing agencies in informing them
about intrusions, Sushil said Indian navy managed to intercept
three boats in the seas following their tip-off.

He said the Government was in the process of distributing
automatic identification systems to fishermen, so that they
could monitor movement of intruders in the seas.

However, it would take time for implementation, since
fishermen were reluctant to adopt this technology, due to many
restrictions, including cost.

PTI

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