Four Tamil Nadu fishermen were seriously injured after they were attacked by Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in the Indian ocean waters, police said. They were part of a group of 1,200 fishermen, who had put out to sea in 150 boats from Pudukottai on Saturday. The fisherman were allegedly fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters.
Other fishermen rescued the four, brought them ashore last night and got them admitted to a government hospital. Police said the boat crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line and was fishing near the island nation when a Sri Lankan naval boat patrolling the area rammed their vessel.
The personnel on board attacked them with stones, bottles and sticks, they said. One of the fishermen suffered a hip fracture, while the other three had extensive hand injuries, Kumaresan, Assistant Director of Fisheries, said.
This was not the first time that Sri Lankan Navy resorted to attacking Indian fishermen. Earlier in March this year, a fisherman was killed and few others were injured in firing by Sri Lankan Navy. India raised the issue with Lankan authorities, following which they launched an investigation.
While India asked Sri Lanka to expedite the probe, Sri Lankan navy denied the charges and said that it does not open fire at poaching fishermen and only arrests them. Following the pressure from Indian authorities, Sri Lanka decided to release all 85 Indian fishermen in their custody in a goodwill gesture.