Rameswaram (TN): Nine fishermen from Rameswaram were
missing and more than 200 boats damaged in an alleged attack
by Sri Lankan Naval personnel at the International Maritime
Boundary Line in Palk Strait RPT in Palk Strait, officials
said on Sunday.
Fishermen from the island who had put out to sea in more
than 600 boats were fishing near the IMBL when they were
allegedly surrounded by Sri Lankan Naval personnel and
attacked with stones, forcing them to return to the shores,
fisheries officials said quoting the fishermen.
This is the first attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly
by the neighbouring Republic`s navy after External Affairs
Minister S M Krishna raised the issue with authorities in
Colombo during his four-day visit last week.
Ahead of Krishna`s visit, the Joint Working Group on
Fisheries between the two countries also discussed the issue
with the Indian side stressing that use of force against
fishermen, including by civilians, is not justifiable under
Officials said nine fishermen onboard two of the 600 boats
did not return to shore. However, it was not known whether
they had been taken into custody by Sri Lankan Navy or had
strayed somewhere else.
According to fisherman Justin, whose boat was pelted with
stones, the Lankan Navalmen attacked them with big stones
damaging the windscreen of many boats. They also cut off the
fishing nets and took them away.
More than 200 boats suffered damage in `the heavy shower`
of stones, said another fisherman Jagadheesh, who suffered cut
injury in his leg.