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Indian fisherman killed: Lanka promises probe

By Anusha Ravi

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.

Indian High Commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu took up the matter with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe

A fisherman, identified as Chitso, 22, from Thangachimadam in Tamil Nadu, was killed after being shot in the neck by the Sri Lankan navy while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet, fisheries department officials said.

The Sri Lankan navy reportedly opened fire in India waters where fishermen from Tamil Nadu had ventured out for fishing. Chitso was shot in the neck and died on the spot, while another fisherman, Saravanan, suffered injuries in his leg in the firing and others who went along with them escaped unhurt and returned to the shore at 12.30 am, Fisheries Department assistant director Kulanchinathan said.

TN Fisherman shot dead by Lankan army

Kulanchinathan said the body has been brought to the Rameswaram hospital and a case has been registered at the Jetty police station. Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the area as fishermen from Thangachimadam coastal hamlet gathered in front of the hospital to protest the firing by the Sri Lankan navy. Protests continued all morning on Tuesday with protesting shouting slogans against the Sri Lankan government and navy.

Anger was visible against the state and central government for failing to ensure the safety of fishermen. The Tamil Nadu government announced an ex-gratia of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of the deceased. A compensation of Rs 1 lakh was announced for those injured in the firing.

The incident comes a day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy had written to the Union government accusing it of not putting enough pressure on Sri Lanka to stop harassment of fishermen from the state. The 2-page letter pointed out to how the Sri Lankan navy goes about arresting Indian fishermen who venture into the sea. The letter highlighted that 32 fishermen and 5 fishing boats had been apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy in three incidents as recently as on March 4 and 5.

OneIndia News (with inputs from IANS)

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