A 22-year-old Indian Fisherman was allegedly shot dead on Monday by the Sri Lankan navy, while he was fishing off the Katchatheevu islet.
The incident occured in the evening and the fisherman has been identified as Bridgo, from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu. Another fisherman, Saravan (22) reportedly suffered injuries in his leg in teh firing while others who were with escaped unhurt. They returned to shore at 12.30 am. The victim was fishing from a mechanised boat near Katchatheevu island when Sri Lankan navy personnel allegedly arrived at the spot and opened fire.
This incident comes a day after Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami wrote a terse letter to Centre, claiming that the state's fishermen have been left to the mercy of the Sri Lankan navy.
On Monday, around 400 trawlers went fishing from Rameswaram. Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told PTI that more than 2,000 fishermen were fishing well within Indian waters when the Sri Lankan naval personnel came to the spot taking them by surprise.
Fishermen in Rameswaram, who had already decided to boycott the Katchatheevu festival, are now outraged by the latest incidence of 'violence by the Sri Lankan navy'. " We have already started the protest in Rameswaram. There are about 10,000 people here. We will not accept the body till the Central Government helps us. We will also continue the protest against this incident. The shooting has happened because of the BJP led Central Government. They did not take any immediate action when the fishermen were arrested," said Bose, Tamil Nadu Meenavar Sangam, state secretary.
Fishermen have listed three demands that must be met with by the Government. "There are about 2000 to 3000 people who are protesting here in Thangachimadam in Rameswaram. Even students are joining our protests and we will continue this agitation till our demands are met. We want the Sri Lankan Navy officials who shot the fisherman to be arrested first. The Sri Lankan ambassador in India must be sent back and the Fisheries Minister must assure us that such an incident won't happen again," said Emerite, President of the Visaipadagu Meenavar Sangam.