Rajkiran (30) reportedly drowned in the sea Monday evening after his boat was hit by a naval vessel of Sri Lanka at Neduntheevu. The Sri Lankan Navy had said they rescued two fishermen and had fished out Rajkiran’s body from the sea Wednesday.
Members of the Kottaipattinam fishing community in Pudukkotai district of Tamil Nadu continued their hunger strike Friday, demanding the authorities to take steps to bring back the body of a fisherman and set free two others who are reportedly in custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.
Rajkiran (30) reportedly drowned in the sea Monday evening after his boat was hit by a naval vessel of Sri Lanka at Neduntheevu. The Sri Lankan Navy had said they rescued two fishermen and had fished out Rajkiran’s body from the sea Wednesday. However, when they did not hand over the body, the protesters sat on a hunger strike.
“Sri Lanka Navy (SLN) managed to rescue two fishermen aboard a sunken Indian fishing boat poaching in Sri Lankan waters across the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) northwest of the Kovilan Lighthouse in the evening of October 18,” an SLN statement read.
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Although the Sri Lankan Navy said they had “rescued” the two fishermen, it has been reported that they have been kept in custody.
A large number of men and women have been protesting for the past couple of days condemning the Sri Lankan Navy’s move and urging the government to take action. Rajkiran reportedly got married a few weeks ago.
On October 18, alongside Rajkiran, Sugunthan and Xavier went fishing into the sea. Fishermen from India and Sri Lanka are arrested frequently for inadvertently trespassing into each other’s waters.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin urged the Centre to find a permanent solution to the issue and wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar. He also sought rehabilitation of the two other fishermen who were rescued by the Lankan Navy.
Meanwhile, many political parties in Tamil Nadu condemned the Lankan Navy’s claim that such incidents are taking place regularly. Former Fisheries Minister D Jayakumar said the government should provide Rs 1 crore as a solatium to the kin of the deceased.
(With Inputs from PTI)
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