Sixteen fishermen from this island were injured in a mid-sea attack allegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel while fishing near the international
maritime boundary line (IMBL) in the Palk Strait, police said.
The Lankan Naval personnel allegedly attacked the fishermen
with wooden logs, stones, bottles resulting in fracture to a
25-year old fisherman and bruises and bleeding injuries to
others last night, police said.
Mathiazhagan, who suffered the fracture, has been admitted
to the government hospital here while several other fishermen,
whose back were swollen with weals and bruises, were treated
at private hospitals, they said.
Mathiazhagan said it was a "brutal" attack by the Lankan
navalmen who surrounded 25 boats of the fishermen. "They
damaged the boats, snapped the fishing nets and lashed us
with logs and pelted stones," he said.
A Fisheries Departmet official described the attack as a
violation of human rights.
Local fishermen association leaders Sesu and Devaraj
alleged the Sri Lankans, who had come in a Naval ship,
intimidated and frightened the fishermen.
The two slammed the Centre for remaining `mute spectator`
to the recurring attacks on fishermen of Tamil Nadu.
Referring to the prompt action taken in recent incidents of
killing of two fishermen off Kerala coast by Marines onboard
Italian oil tanker and hit-and-run case allegedly involving a
Singapore flagged ship, they sought to know "Why the
Government is silent even after 300 fishermen had been killed
by the Lankan Naval men (over the recent years)."
They also demanded that the government take steps to
recover the fish catch seized by Sri Lankan navalmen and also
file a case for attacking "innocent" fishermen.