Terming the Sri Lankan navy’s firing on Indian fishermen as an extremely serious and disturbing incident, AIADMK MPs in India have met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and urged him to summon the Sri Lankan high commissioner to India and convey strong protest against the incident, the Times of India reported.
The fishermen set out for fishing on a mechanised fishing vessel from Karaikal fishing harbour a few days ago.
According to reports, the Sri Lankan navy fired indiscriminately at the Indian boats, injuring A Aravinthan (20) of Nagapattinam and R Dinesh of Puducherry. The duo, who sustained bullet injuries, were admitted to hospital in Puducherry.
The MPs said such an incident of firing had not occurred in the past and represented a major escalation in the manner in which the Sri Lankan navy was dealing with an extremely sensitive livelihood issue of fishermen.
“The fishermen community of Tamil Nadu are in a state of shock. We expect that the Union government will act immediately and strongly in response,” MPs said in a memorandum to Modi.
The members said it was ironical that the incident happened a few days after talks between the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka took place in New Delhi to find ways and means to enable both sides to fish in harmonious and peaceful manner.
An official statement after a high-level ministerial level meet between the Indian external affairs minister and Union agriculture minister and the Sri Lankan foreign affairs minister and fisheries minister on November 5 stated that both governments had agreed to the request of the fishermen associations against violence and loss of life in the handling of fishermen by the navies and coast guards of both countries.
“Despite this specific understanding reached at the ministerial level, it is very unfortunate that an incident has taken place,” the MPs said.