Coast Guard denies firing at Tamil fishermen in Palk Bay | india news | Hindustan Times
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Coast Guard denies firing at Tamil fishermen in Palk Bay

The Coast Guard said that its vessel on patrol was routinely investigating fishing boats for paired trawling that is not allowed.

india Updated: Nov 14, 2017 18:01 IST
KV Lakshmana
An Indian Coast Guard vessel.
An Indian Coast Guard vessel.(File photo)

The Indian Cost Guard on Tuesday denied firing on a fishing trawler after a fisherman lodged a complaint with the police in Ramanathapuram alleging that he and others came under fire from a patrol vessel in the high seas on Monday afternoon.

K P Arokiyadass who lodged the complaint and fellow fisherman S Johson showed bullets to television reporters in Ramanathapuram on Tuesday and alleged that ICG personnel on board a patrol vessel attacked them after they could not stop their trawler ‘Jehovah Jireh’ because their fishing nets had already been cast. Since the boat kept moving, the coast guard personnel opened fire, the fishermen alleged in an interview to a private television channel.

The fishermen alleged that the coast guard personnel then boarded their trawler and beat them up and asked them to learn Hindi before leaving.

Once Arokiyadass and the others returned ashore, other fishermen took them to a government hospital in Rameswaram where the doctors said they suffered simple injuries and their condition was stable.

Fishermen’s associations have condemned the incident and demanded action against those ICG personnel allegedly involved in the firing.

But the Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday flatly denied that any of its personnel fired at any fishermen aboard the Jehovah Jireh.

“No fisherman was fired upon by any ICG ship in Palk Bay on Monday,” it said in a press statement issued in Chennai on Tuesday.

The Coast Guard said that its vessel on patrol was routinely investigating fishing boats for paired trawling that is not allowed. The fishing boat sped away leaving the nets in the water and did not stop despite repeated caution by Coast Guard ship. The boat was finally stopped after a chase of 50 minutes, the coast guard release said. It added, the boat crew was questioned as to why they had sped away.