Nine fishermen from Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu have been injured in continuing mid-sea attacks against them, allegedly by Sri Lankan nationals, The Hindu newspaper reported.
This is the third consecutive day that fishermen of the district have returned ashore with injuries after being attacked while fishing. Five fishermen with injuries were admitted to Nagapattinam Government Hospital on Thursday and three more on Friday. On Saturday, two groups of nine fishermen were admitted to the hospital.
According to sources, six fishermen from Nagore, Aryanattutheru and Vanagiri from the district, who had ventured into the sea for fishing on September 27, were intercepted by eight persons, who were on boats fitted with high-speed engines.
After getting on board their boat, the assailants allegedly hit Indian fishermen with logs and iron rods, about 15 to 18 nautical miles off the Kodiyakarai coast, sources in the Fisheries Department said.
With the assailants taking away the catch, nets and GPS devices of the Indian fishermen, officials here said they are not sure of their identity. “We do not know whether the attackers are pirates or Sri Lankan fishermen. They are suspected to be from Sri Lanka as they reportedly spoke both Sinhalese and Tamil,” an official said.
The injured fishermen, Kannan, 40, Prathapan, 34, Vijaya Kumar, 33, Balamurugan, 18, Manibalan, 20, and Ganesamurthy, 32, were rushed to the hospital by local people after they managed to return to Nagapattinam on Saturday morning.
Another group of three fishermen of Seruthur returned with injuries after being attacked mid sea. The injured, Sudhakar, 40, Dharman, 37, and Kumar, 36, were admitted to the Nagapattinam Government Hospital.
O.S. Manian, Minister for Handlooms and Textiles, accompanied by Collector S. Suresh Kumar, called on the injured at the hospital.