Lankan navy again opens fire at Indian fishermen

July 13th, 2008 - 8:24 pm ICT by IANS  

A file-photo of Bharatiya Janata Party

Chennai, July 13 (IANS) For the second consecutive day, the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly opened unprovoked firing on Indian fishermen off the Nagappattinam coast, official sources said Sunday. No lives were lost in the firing. According to official sources, Lankan naval personnel opened fire on 100 fishermen in 30 boats and ripped off their nets, causing them to scamper ashore off Nagappattinam coast, 350 km from here.

On Saturday, two Indian fisherman were killed when a Sri Lankan Navy vessel allegedly opened fire on their fishing boat, a survivor of the incident said here.

The bodies of the fishermen were brought ashore after K. Murali, a fisherman injured in the shooting in the wee hours of Saturday, tipped off relatives on a mobile phone that his mates S. Vasagan and N. Narayanswamy were killed in “unprovoked” firing by the Sri Lankan Navy in the Palk Strait.

Though no lives were lost in Sunday’s firing, political leaders and activists cutting across party lines joined angry families of Saturday’s victims in demanding stringent action against the island’s navy.

AIADMK boss J. Jayalalithaa condemned the state and the central governments’ inaction and called for a compensation of Rs.500,000 for every victim’s family. Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V. Thangkabalu told reporters here that he had written to Union Defence Minister A.K. Anthony, requesting the strengthening of protection to Indian citizens.

The Viduthalai Chiruthaigal Katchi announced a demonstration in Nagappattinam July 21 - ahead of a picketing protest by Communist Party of India outside the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commission slated for July 30 here.

Pattali Makkal Katchi and the Bharatiya Janata Party also in their interactions with the press here condemned the incessant attacks by the Lankan defence personnel on Indian fishermen.

The ongoing indefinite strike by Rameshwaram fishermen protesting against similar attacks continued peacefully.

Sri Lankan diplomats could not be reached for comments.

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