Lankan Navy opens fire to warn Indian fishermen

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Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu, July 13 (UNI) A day after the ''bloody attack'' on Indian fishermen, the Sri Lankan Navy today reportedly opened fire in the air as warning shots and allegedly damaged fishing nets of some Tamil Nadu fishermen at mid sea off Point Calimere here.

Reliable sources told UNI that when a group of Indian fishermen were engaged in fishing, a Sri Lankan Naval vessel opened fire in the air to warn the fishermen against crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

The Naval personnel reportedly boarded an Indian fishing trawler and ''damaged'' fishing nets and warned the fishermen of dire consequences if they entered Sri Lankan territorial waters.

Soon after the incident, the fishing trawlers returned to the Nagapattinam coast. They complained the matter to the State Fisheries Department officials here.

Meanwhile, an uneasy calm prevailed in the coastal hamlets of Nagapattinam district, following the ''attack'' by the Lankan Navy in which two Indian fishermen were shot dead, yesterday.

The fishermen-- Vasagan and Narayanaswamy-- hailing from Arucottuthurai in Vedaranyam were allegedly killed by Lankan Navy at mid sea, while another fisherman was seriously injured in the attack. With this incident, the number of Tamil Nadu fishermen shot dead by Lankan Navy during the last six weeks rose to three.

Most of the fishermen from Nagapattinam and Vedaranyam did not venture into sea for fishing today.

Police pickets were posted in sensitive places to prevent any untoward incidents. Though the situation was calm in the coastal belts, it was still tense, the sources told UNI.

UNI GSM SJ RL KN1613

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