Tension in TN villages over fisherman's death

While the surviving fishermen who managed to return told the district fisheries authorities that their four-member group, including the deceased, was mercilessly attacked by the island navy personnel, their nets and catch seized and hurled into the waters, another group has complained that they were “beaten up and stripped” by the Lankan security forces.

Official sources in Nagapattinam said 55-year-old Chellappan had ‘probably died of shock’ he received when the Lankan navy allegedly beat and chased them away in their fibre boats fitted with outboard motors, near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), some 12 km off the Kodiyakarai coast on Wednesday night.

Chellappan, according to the fishermen’s account, swooned and collapsed in their boat after the first blow. The three others who ventured into the sea with him for fishing found him dead after some time. They claimed that they had not crossed the IMBL to invite retaliatory action by the Lankan navy. The survivors waited for the island navy personnel to retreat after which they collected their nylon nets and reached ashore with Chellappan’s body in the early hours of Thursday. It was then sent for postmortem.

In another similar incident in the high seas on Wednesday night, four other fishermen who had sailed from Pushpavanam village in the district got a thrashing at the hands of the  Lankan navy.

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