Mystery over fishermen's killing

Mystery over fishermen's killing

 As various security agencies investigated the killing of two Indian fishermen by security personnel of an Italian oil tanker, the mystery behind the attack deepened with the ship’s crew refusing to co-operate.

According to reports, the Italian Navy onboard the ship did not alert Indian security agencies despite the perceived threat. Fishermen’s organisations say that the fishing boat was trawling inside India’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ) where no pirate attack had occurred so far.

Kochi Police Commissioner M R Ajith Kumar told Deccan Herald the crew was being questioned onboard the ship. Whether the ship’s security was provided by the Italian navy would become clear once Indian policemen return to Kochi.

Boat Owners’ Association state president M S James said bullet marks on the boat indicate several rounds were fired. Though the tanker had state of the art technology to ascertain if the fishing boat carried any weapons, they did not do so, said James.

Due to declining fish wealth and restrictions on fishing near the coast,  mechanised boats were forced to go deep into the sea despite the danger of getting close to shipping routes.

The government should wake up to the reality and  direct  security agencies to ensure safety of fishing boats, James said.