Chennai: A fisherman from Tamil Nadu’s Mayiladuthurai district was injured when the Indian Navy on a suspicion opened fire at this boat in the wee hours of Friday. The injured fisherman Veeravel (30) was administered first aid by the Naval crew and eventually admitted to the Government Hospital in Ramanathapuram.
While the Indian Navy has ordered an inquiry into the firing, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to instruct the Indian security agencies to exercise caution and extreme restraint.
The Indian Navy maintains a continuous vigil over the crucial waters of Palk Bay, which separate India and Sri Lanka.
“During the early hours of October 21, 2022, a suspicious boat was observed by the Indian Navy ship on patrol in Palk Bay near the India Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Despite repeated warnings, the boat did not stop. The ship, as per standard operating procedures, fired warning shots to stop the boat. One of the crew onboard the suspicious boat was reported to have sustained an injury,” a Navy statement said.
“The injured person was administered first aid by the ship and evacuated by an Indian Navy Chetak helicopter to INS Parundu at Ramnad and had been shifted to the Government Hospital, Ramanathapuram for further medical management. His condition is reported to be stable. An Inquiry has been ordered to investigate the incident,” it said.
Stalin, who ordered a compensation of Rs 2 lakh and deputed his ministers to meet the injured fisherman, expressed distress and anguish over the incident.
According to him, ten fishermen (seven from Tamil Nadu and three from Karaikal in Puducherry) had ventured for fishing in a Karaikal-based mechanised fishing boat when the firing happened.
Stalin, in his letter to the Prime Minister, said, “I am extremely saddened by this incident that has happened by an act of the Indian Navy. You are well aware of the plight of Indian fishermen being ill-treated by Sri Lankan security forces. But, when our security forces resort to similar acts, it creates a sense of despair and insecurity in the minds of the downtrodden fisher folk.”
He urged Modi’s intervention and requested him “to direct the Indian Security Agencies to exercise extreme caution and restraint while dealing with Indian fishermen in Indian waters.”