The navy denied reports that it had attacked a group of Indian fishermen who had strayed into Sri Lankan waters.
Navy Spokesperson Commander Indika Silva said that the navy had never engaged in any unruly behavior and conducted its duties within the country’s legal framework.
According to reports, a complaint had been filed with the Indian police on Tuesday stating that Sri Lankan navy personnel had allegedly assaulted three Indian fishermen and snatched their mobile phones while they were fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
After being told to leave, one of the fishermen alleged that the navy personnel had jumped into their boats, assaulted them and snatched their mobile phones.
Reports said that more than 500 Indian boats had been in the sea for fishing when the incident had taken place. The other fishermen had left the scene immediately.
Commander Silva however said that such an incident had never taken place and maintained that the navy had never engaged in any such behavior.
“The Sri Lankan Navy is a highly disciplined military organization and we conduct all our duties within the country’s legal framework. Indian fishermen who have entered local waters have been arrested and handed over to the relevant authorities for onward action,” Silva said.
The Indo-Lanka fishing dispute has been a long standing issue with several rounds of talks to resolve the matter between the two countries resulting in a deadlock.
Indian fishermen often stray into Sri Lankan waters to catch fish as the island nation has rich fishing resources. (Colombo Gazette)