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TN Fishermen keep off sea after firing by Indian Navy

- October 26, 2022

Chennai, Oct 26 (BPNS)

Fishermen from Vedaranyam in Tamil Nadu are wary of entering the sea following the shooting incident in which the Indian Navy fired at a fisherman from the area injuring him in the stomach and legs.

The gruesome incident that took place on October 21 happened when the Indian Navy fired shots at a fishing boat from Vedaranayam that was indulging in fishing at the Jagadapattinam sea shore around 2 am.  There were ten fishermen in the boat including its owner Shivakumar and one fisherman, Veeraval got bullet injuries in the stomach and legs. The Coastal Marine Police at Vedaranyam registered a case against Indian Navy.

The Indian Navy, however, said that they found a suspicious-looking boat at Palk Bay, and even after repeated requests the boat did not stop, and hence the Navy fired as per Standard Operating Procedures to halt it. The Navy immediately informed the Air Force base at Ramanathapuram and airlifted the injured fisherman to Ramanathapuram Government Hospital and later to Madurai Government Medical College hospital.

The fishermen in the response said that they feared that the Sri Lankan Navy was at the Palk Bay and they had cut off their nets and were retracting when they heard some inaudible messages and tried to make good their escape when Veeraval was hit by bullets.

The Vedaranyam Marine Police registered a case against the Indian Navy based on a complaint filed by the fishing boat owner, Selvakumar.

After this incident many fishermen are apprehensive of going into the sea and with several fishing boats not venturing into the sea, the situation in the hamlet is of poverty.

Sivakrishnan, a fisherman from Vedanaranyam while speaking to BPNS said, “ We are afraid of going into the deep sea. Anything can happen in the sea and we have been constantly in fear of the Sri Lankan navy attacking us if we cross the International Maritime Boundary Line, but now our own Navy is attacking us and this is quite unfounded. We have decided not to go to the seas for the time being.”

The fishermen not venturing into the sea has created an unprecedented crisis in the Vedaranyam area as most of the houses are dependent on fish and without the catch, the hustle and bustle at the market are over and silence is prevailing in the area.

Manikantan. M.K., fishermen leader of Vedaranyam told BPNS, “ The incident of Indian Navy firing our own fishermen is not acceptable and we demand strong action against those responsible. The fear psychosis of the fishermen has to be changed and they must venture out into the seas.”

Meanwhile the Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) leader and Member of Parliament, Vaiko has come out strongly against the incident of firing on a Vedaranyam fisherman by the Indian Navy. The senior leader said that the Indian Navy had behaved worse than the Sri Lankan Navy and added that the fishing boat from Vedaranyam was carrying the Indian flag on it and still firing at the Indian boat was unbecoming of the Indian Navy.