Sunday, July 14, 2024

10 Indian Fishermen Arrested, Charged for Death of Lankan Sailor – N.F Times

Ten Indian fishermen were arrested for allegedly engaging in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters on Monday and will be charged with the death of a Lankan Navy sailor who was killed during an operation to seize their trawler, according to authorities.

A senior sailor from the Navy Special Boat Squadron sustained critical injuries due to “the aggressive manoeuvres of the Indian trawler resisting seizure,” a statement from the Sri Lankan Navy indicated.

“Regrettably, the senior sailor succumbed to his injuries after being admitted to the Teaching Hospital, Jaffna,” the statement continued.

The Navy reported the arrest of 10 Indian fishermen and the seizure of their trawler on Monday.

“They will face charges for illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters, the death of a naval personnel during the operation, and for causing damage to naval property,” the statement said.

A post-mortem examination conducted by the Jaffna Magistrate on the deceased sailor concluded that the sailor’s death was accidental, resulting from spinal cord damage, the Navy disclosed.

The issue of fishermen is a contentious one in the relations between India and Sri Lanka, with Lankan Navy personnel occasionally firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegal entry into Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, a narrow body of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, serves as a fertile fishing ground for fishermen from both nations. Fishermen from both countries are often arrested for inadvertently crossing into each other’s waters.

In this regard, Tamil Nadu CM had raised the issue with EAM S Jaishankar demanding “immediate intervention.

“The frequent arrests of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan authorities have created an insecure atmosphere among the fishermen community,” the Tamil Nadu CM had said.

He underlined that in the year 2024 alone, 203 fishermen and 27 boats have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy.

On Thursday, Jaishankar assured Stalin that the efforts to address the interests of the Indian fishing community still continue.

“After coming to office in 2014, the NDA Government has endeavoured to address the livelihood interests of our fishing community and its humanitarian aspects. These efforts continue,” the EAM said.

“Their multiple dimensions, including engaging the Government of Sri Lanka. You may be assured that we give the utmost priority to the welfare and security of Indian fishermen and will always do so,” he added.

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