Mar 07, Colombo: Sri Lanka Navy is again accused of firing at a group of Indian fishermen and injuring a fisherman, Indian fisheries department officials have said.
According to Indian media reports, Sri Lankan Navy personnel had fired in the air first and then at the fishing boats extensively damaging the boats.
A 40-year-old fisherman of the group from Kodiakarai in Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district had received injuries in his shoulder, a fishery official in Nagapattinam has said. The injured fisherman has been admitted to Nagapattinam Government Hospital.
The fishermen have claimed that they were in Indian territorial waters at the time of the incident.
Sri Lanka Navy arrested 16 Indian fishermen and seized their three trawlers last Sunday (March 03) for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and trespassing into Sri Lankan waters off Kalpitiya in the northwest.
The arrest prompted the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to write to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking his intervention to secure their early release.
The Chief Minister asked the PM to take urgent action to urge the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release the 16 fishermen with their 3 boats without filing any cases against them.
Indian fishermen's associations claim that the fishermen had lost hundreds of fishing nets and boats and several fishermen had suffered injuries and died in Sri Lanka Navy attacks.
However, Sri Lankan Navy denies the attacks on Indian fishermen, and on their part, the Indian fishermen have not produced any proof of such attacks either.
Indian fishermen, mainly from Tamil Nadu, illegally poaching in large scale with trawlers in Sri Lanka's waters, have become a serious threat to the livelihoods of Sri Lankan fishermen and they have urged the Sri Lankan authorities to prevent the Indian fishermen from stealing their livelihood.