Fisherman shot dead by Lankan navy

New Delhi conveys deep concern over killing

Fisherman shot dead by Lankan navy

An Indian fisherman was shot dead allegedly by Sri Lankan Navy on Monday night, triggering outrage in Tamil Nadu. New Delhi has conveyed to Sri Lanka its “deep concern” over the killing.

Britjo (22) from Thangachimadam in Rameswaram was killed on the spot and another fisherman Saron (31) was admitted to the Rameswaram Government Hospital with bullet injuries.

The shooting took place near Katchatheevu Island, close to the international maritime boundary line between the two nations.

Taranjit Singh Sandhu, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, took up the matter with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickramesinghe on Tuesday.

The Sri Lankan Navy has promised a full and thorough investigation,” Gopal Bagley, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson told journalists in New Delhi.

Colombo conveyed to New Delhi that an initial investigation revealed that Sri Lankan Navy was “not involved” in the “alleged incident”.

“Irrespective of the parties involved, if in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern, and all possible action will be taken in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities to investigate into this incident, utilising GPS technology as well,” Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement posted on Facebook.

Tension prevailed in Thangachimadam as thousands of fishermen staged a demonstration over the killing.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to summon the Sri Lankan envoy and convey the strong feelings over the `unprovoked firing’, while ensuring the safety of fishermen.

He termed the killing “inhuman and cruel” and asked the Centre to ensure the `traditional’ right of Tamil Nadu fishermen to fish in Palk Strait.

Palaniswami announced assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the victim's family.

The incident came as a jolt to the efforts being made by New Delhi and Colombo to resolve the dispute over fishing in the waters between India and Sri Lanka.
 

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