Indian fisherman critically hurt in Lankan Navy firing

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Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Jan 12 (UNI) An Indian fisherman was critically injured when the Sri Lankan Navy reportedly opened fire on fishing boats near Katchatheevu off the coast here today.

Police sources said a group of fishermen from Rameswaram Island ventured into sea in 601 mechanised boats early today, when a Sri Lankan Navy vessel opened fire at one of the boats at around 1300 hrs while they were fishing near Katchatheevu.

Sekhar (40) of Malligai Nagar in Rameswaram was hit on the right shoulder and fainted while three others -- Sahayam, Selvam and Ganesan-- had a miraculous escape.

Later, they returned to the shore and informed the matter to the local authorities.

After being given first aid at the Government Hospital here, Sekhar was brought to the Ramanathapuram Government Hospital before being shifted to the Government Rajaji Hospital in Madurai as his condition worsened due to excessive bleeding.

Tension has been mounting among fishermen community in Rameswaram and Ramanathapuram over the ''highhandedness'' of the Island Nation's Navy, the sources added.

UNI GSM SJ SHB AS1901

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