Protests broke out in parts of Tamil Nadu on Tuesday, a day after a fisherman from Rameswaram was shot dead allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy.
A group of Indian fisherman was allegedly fired upon when they were fishing between Danushkodi and Katchatheevu off the Tamil Nadu coast late Monday. One was killed, while three were injured.
The deceased, who was shot in the neck, has been identified as 22-year-old Britso. His body was brought to the Rameswaram Government Hospital but his family has refused to accept it.
Rameswaram fishermen association president P Sesuraja alleged that the Sri Lankan navy did not even fire a warning shot.
Hundreds from the fishermen community have been sitting in protest in Rameswaram against the alleged killing and some workers belonging to the local political party, the Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi, climbed a cellphone tower.
Tamil Nadu: Thamizhaga Vazhvurimai Katchi party workers climb tower in protest against Sri Lankan Navy in Rameswaram pic.twitter.com/4MUOOiTAao— ANI (@ANI_news) March 7, 2017
The protesting fishermen have said a central minister must visit the island and give them an assurance that such incidents would not happen again, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President S Emiret said.
They have also demanded the arrest of the Lankan navy men involved in the incident, he said.
The fishermen alleged that there was no proper coordination between Lankan and Indian officials on the issue of fishing in the Palk Strait. They demanded the release of all Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and the boats seized by them.
Policemen have been deployed in the island to monitor the situation.
Indian high commissioner Taranjit Singh Sandhu has taken up the matter with Sri Lankan prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, sources said on Tuesday, and the Sri Lankan navy has promised a thorough probe into the alleged killing.
The attack comes a day after Tamil Nadu chief minister E Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking the release of 85 fishermen and their 128 boats under Sri Lankan custody. He also mentioned the alleged harassment of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, and had demanded a strict response to the 32 fishermen who had been detained last week.
PMK leader Anbumani Ramadoss on Tuesday condemned the incident and demanded that the Indian government should not tolerate such attacks and stop terming Sri Lanka as a friendly nation.
“They were first attacked by the Lankan navy with grenades and then were shot at in which Britso was killed…,” Ramadoss said.
Earlier, DMK working president MK Stalin demanded a response from the Centre. “It’s high time the central government reacts strongly to this problem. It cannot be a mute spectator. It should take up this issue with the Indian ambassador in Sri Lanka or the high commission of Sri Lanka in India,” he said in a statement.
Palaniswami meanwhile announced Rs 5 lakh as compensation to the next of kin to the deceased, and Rs 1 lakh to the injured.
With PTI inputs