Sixteen Tamil Nadu fishermen were injured in a non-firearm attack on them by the Sri Lankan navy in the Palk Straits, further exposing the hazards of this occupation.
The fishermen, who were in about 25 boats, were near the international maritime boundary line when Sri Lankan naval troops launched on them with stones, bottles and sticks. Several of the injured have been admitted to a local hospital.
Mathiazhagan, an injured fisherman, told television channels they were attacked “brutally” by the Lankan naval persons, who damaged boats and destroyed fishing nets. Representatives of the fishermen’s association lashed out at the central government for its alleged failure to protect them.
Both the AIADMK and DMK have said they will raise the issue in the budget session of Parliament.
Tamil Nadu fishermen have deplored the Centre’s “double standards” on this issue. While the Centre took action on the murder of two fishermen by an Italian ship’s crew off the Kerala coast, for Tamil Nadu fishermen, despite the killing of nearly 300 of them over the past few years, it is indifferent.
“The Indian mission in Colombo has taken up the issue... with Sri Lankan authorities. They have informed that they are investigating the case,” a ministry of external affairs spokesperson said in New Delhi on Sunday. However, a Sri Lankan navy spokesperson in Colombo refuted the allegations.
(With PTI inputs)