India takes up fisherman killing at highest level

The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a thorough probe into the killing of an Indian fisherman in the Palk Straits after India took up the matter at the highest level, according to sources.

India has voiced deep concern over the killing of the Indian fisherman on Monday night allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy. Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu has taken up the matter with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, sources said on Tuesday. The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation, the sources added.

This comes as Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the family of the killed fisherman, K. Britso, and a compensation of Rs one lakh for one injured fisherman.

Six fishermen from Thangachimadam in Ramanathapuram district were fishing near Katchatheevu islet, when the attack took place.

The Lankan Navy attack on Indian fishermen comes a day after Chief Minister Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the release of 85 fishermen and their 128 boats under Sri Lankan custody.

Katchatheevu island is located in the narrow sea dividing the two countries. The sea near the islet is rich in marine life, leading to frequent clashes between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen.

Hundreds of fishermen are sitting in protest in Rameswaram against the Monday night attack.

PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday condemned the Lankan navy’s attack and demanded that the Indian government should not tolerate such attacks and stop terming Sri Lanka as a friendly nation.

“They were first attacked by the Lankan Navy with grenades and then were shot at in which Britso was killed and one more fisherman was injured,” Ramadoss said in Chennai.

He said attacks on the Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy has been happening for the past 30 years killing more than 800 fishermen.

Ramadoss said at a meeting, Indian and Sri Lankan ministers agreed that fishermen crossing the maritime boundary by mistake should not be attacked but handled in a humane manner.

“It seems Sri Lanka is not willing to abide by any agreements,” Ramadoss said.

He also said the Tamil Nadu government should pressurise the Indian and the Sri Lankan governments to arrest the Lankan Navy personnel who attacked the Indian fishermen and deport to the state.