Uneasy calm in Rameswaram after killing of Indian fishermen

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Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Mar 6 (UNI) An uneasy calm prevailed in Rameswaram in the wake of the killing of a local fisherman by the Sri Lankan Navy yesterday in an unprovoked firing at mid-sea.

Fishermen from this island, who ventured into the sea yesterday morning, hurriedly returned to the shore after hearing about the shooting incident.

A pall of gloom descended over the coastal hamlet Thangachimadam, the native of the deceased fisherman A Christe (35). A large number of people from all walks of life and local politicians, cutting across party lines, visited the house of the deceased and consoled the family members.

In a tragic coincidence, the victim's father Anthonisamy was also gunned down by the Sri Lankan Navy in an unprovoked firing at mid-sea, a few years ago.

Various fishermen associations strongly condemned the ''high-handedness'' of the Sri Lankan Navy and urged the Centre and Tamil Nadu government to take steps to protect the lives of innocent fishing folks.

Official sources said the next of kin of the victim would be handed over a solatium of Rs 1 lakh. An inquiry would be conducted into the circumstances that led to the shooting and a detailed report would be sent to the State government.

The three other crew members of the mechanised fishing boat, who had escaped unhurt in the indiscriminate firing by the Sri Lankan Navy, were questioned by the intelligence sleuths, senior police and revenue officials to find out whether they had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line and trespassed into the Lankan territorial waters, the sources added.

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