September 29, 2008

Sri Lankan Navy Fire Allegedly Kills Indian Fisherman

Text of report by Indian news agency PTI

Rameswaram (TN) [Tamil Nadu], 28 September [Sunday]: A fisherman was killed and three others injured in firing allegedly by Sri Lankan naval men who surrounded about 40 boats near Katchatheevu around midnight on Saturday night.

About 400 boats were fishing in the area, officials said, adding that the other boats managed to escape the firing.

The deceased fisherman Murugan (32) was a native of Madurai. Three others who were fishing with him suffered minor injuries, they said.

The fishermen told the officials that they were fishing only in Indian waters when they were surrounded by the Lankan navy. But the officials said they had crossed into Lankan waters.

More than 100 fishermen suffered bruises and swelling as they were allegedly beaten with rods and nylon ropes by the Lankan navy.

The Madurai and Rameswaram Revenue District Officers handed over a cheque for three lakh [One lakh equals 100,000] rupees to the deceased's family, officials said.

The fishermen have decided not to venture into the sea tomorrow to protest against the firing.

Originally published by PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1907 28 Sep 08.

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