The Fishermen Association in Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu has demanded strict action against the Sri Lankan Navy officials who attacked them on Monday evening. They have also requested the Union Government and the state government to offer compensation for the fisherman who was injured due to the attack.
On Monday evening, the Sri Lankan navy allegedly destroyed the fishing nets in around 60 boats for allegedly venturing into the Sri Lankan waters. They also threw glass bottles and stones at the fishermen. Suresh, a 35-year-old fisherman from Thangachimadam got hurt as well in the attack. The video that went viral on social media shows a mechanised boat parallel to the ones with the fishermen. A man from the mechanised boat is seen throwing something at the fishermen’s boat and the other man watching it happen.
Speaking to TNM, E Jesuraj said that the attack was not an isolated incident by the Sri Lankan authorities. “It has become a routine thing for them to cut our fishing nets and attack us when we go out fishing,” he said. Adding that there are over 1500 fishing boats in the Rameswaram area alone, Jesuraj said, “We don’t get fish near our border at all. But we cannot venture out too much either for the fear of getting our nets and boats damaged by the officers.”
Suresh, who was injured in Monday’s attack had to receive three stitches on his head and is recovering. The Sri Lankan authorities allegedly damaged fishing nets belonging to around 60 boats, causing a damage of Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh per boat, according to Jesuraj. When asked how he was sure about the identity of the attackers, he said that the kind of boat seen in the video is only used by the navy of the two countries -- India and Sri Lanka.
Requesting the state and the Union Governments to put an end to the continuous attacks on Tamil Nadu’s fishermen, Jesuraj said, “It would be better if the two countries sit and talk this issue out keeping the livelihood of the fishermen in mind. Meanwhile, we request the governments to provide suitable compensation for Suresh for the injury he suffered.”
Responding to the news of the attack, Tamil Nadu Minister for Fisheries told reporters that the government strongly condemns the attack. He added that the issue will be taken up with the Union Government and assured strict action on the matter. “We express our condemnation of such activities. Sri Lanka must not be involved in such activities,” he said.