Tamil Nadu fisherman injured in stone-attack by Sri Lankan Navy

A fisherman from Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram was injured after the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly attacked a boat with stones.

The incident took place on Wednesday night when a group of fishermen had ventured into the sea from Mandapam port in Tamil Nadu.

They were fishing near Kachchatheevu when five Sri Lankan Navy patrol boats surrounded them and began throwing stones at them, the fishermen said.

Kachchatheevu is an uninhabited island located between Sri Lanka’s Neduntheevu and India’s Rameswaram in the Palk Strait between the two countries. It has been traditionally used by both Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen.

The fishermen, who were attacked, said the Sri Lankan Navy targeted them saying that they had crossed the maritime border. The Sri Lankan Navy destroyed their nets and threatened to arrest them, the fishermen said.

Jayapaul, a fisherman from the Rameswaram who was part of the group suffered injuries in his head. He fainted after the stones hurled by the Lankan Navy team hit him. He was later taken to hospital for treatment.

“We left around 9 am yesterday [Wednesday] from Mandapam. Around 7 pm, the Sri Lankan Navy surrounded us and began attacking us with stones,” said Jayapaul.

He said, “One of the stones hit me. I had to cut the net and we escaped. I fell unconscious. Once I reached the shore, I was taken to a hospital where they treated me and stitched my wound.”

Jayapaul claimed “harassment by the Sri Lankan Navy was turning severe” and urged central government’s intervention in the matter.

Meanwhile, another group of fishermen said they were attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy. This group was from Rameswaram and returned on Thursday morning. They too said the Sri Lankan Navy men threw stones and bottles at them.

Last week, a fisherman from Nagapattinam was injured after a bullet fired by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel grazed his head.

The group that was targeted was fishing in the sea southeast off the Kodiakarai coast near the international maritime boundary line in the wee hours of August 1.

A Sri Lankan Navy boat approached them at a fast speed and the navy personnel opened fire at their boats, Nagapattinam fisheries department officials said.

One fisherman belonging to Nagapattinam got injured in the head in the incident.

“Lankan Navy personnel started attacking many boats in the area. First, they threw stones and then opened fire. One of the bullets came towards our boat and it pierced a partition and hit one among us named Kalaiselvan. The bullet scratched his head and he fell down unconscious,” Deepanraj, one of the fishermen in the boat, was quoted as saying by news agency PTI.

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