TN govt orders probe into firing of Kodiakarai coast

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Chennai, Nov 9: The Tamil Nadu government has ordered a detailed probe into the Friday, Nov 7 firing incident off the Kodiakarai coast in Nagapattinam district in which one fisherman was injured, even as the the Sri Lankan government denied the involvement of its Navy in it. An official release here said Joint Director of fisheries (Regional) Chennai R Thillaigovindan had been appointed as the Inquiry officer.

The terms of reference of the inquiry included the details of the incident, the causes and circumstances leading to the alleged firing, location of the fishing boat at the time of the incident and suggesting ways and means to avoid such incidents in future.

The release said the Joint Director would commence his probe later today at the Office of the Inspector of Fisheries in Vedaranyam in Nagpattinam district and would submit his report to the Fisheries Department Secretary within 15 days.

An official release from the Sri lanka Deputy High Commission in Chennai, meanwhile, denied the involvement of the Lankan Navy in the incident.

The release said the Lankan government was committed to the October 26 India-Sri Lanka Joint Statement on Fishing arrangements that there would be no firing on Indian fishing vessels.

It said, ''The Lankan Navy did not make any deployment on November 7 outside the harbour of Kankesanthurai for the protection of this vital and sensitive port against a possible attack by the LTTE''.

''There was no incident of firing by the Sri Lanka Navy on Indian fishing vessels on November 7 including in the general area of the axis Kodiakkarai-Kankesanthurai,'' the release added.

The Lankan government believes that the incident was the handiwork of the LTTE aimed at damaging the bilateral relations between India and Sri Lanka, it said and appealed to the public to remain vigilant against the attempts by the LTTE to spread false information.

UNI

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