Citing information from fishermen that four of their community “died due to an attack” by the Sri Lankan Navy, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami on Thursday condemned the island nation maritime force for such acts shattering their livelihood.
To put an end to such mid-sea incidents, appropriate action was being taken and his government was in touch with the union government, he said.
He has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to initiate an appropriate inquiry through the Indian High Commission in Colombo into the incident, Mr Palaniswami said, three days after Sri Lanka said an Indian fishing boat sank in its waters following a ”collision” with its Navy vessel.
Condoling the deaths, the Chief Minister, in an official release, said he has ordered a solatium of Rs 10 lakh each to the families of the four fishermen.
He said when four fishermen who had set out for fishing from Pudukottai district on January 18 did not return, a search operation was undertaken by Indian Coast Guard, a naval ship and helicopter on his direction.
“We now have received information through fishermen that the four (missing) fishermen died due to attack by Sri Lankan Navy,” he said in an official release.
The four had ventured into the sea for fishing in a boat belonging to a man from Thangachimadam near Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district, he said, adding it was among the 214 mechanised vessels that had set out for fishing.
Condoling the deaths, the Chief Minister said he has ordered a solatium of Rs 10 lakh to the families of each of the four dead fishermen.
Mr Palaniswami said he has ordered a job for one member from each of the four families in government or state-run enterprises and relief assistance for the boat affected in the attack.
An official in Rameswaram said bodies of all the four fishermen have been recovered by Sri Lankan authorities. On Wednesday, bodies of two fishermen were recovered.
A protest demonstration was held in Rameswaram on Thursday, condemning the ”attack” and demanding that the government take steps to bring back the bodies of the fishermen.
The Lankan Navy had on Tuesday said it had launched a search and rescue operation for “unknown number of missing fishermen” and the sunken boat.
It had said the Navy units on patrol carried out an operation to seize Indian fishing trawlers ”poaching” in Sri Lankan waters after observing more than 50 vessels.
As the operation was going on, one of the Indian fishing trawlers tried to evade the scene, making it collide with a Sri Lankan Navy vessel, it had said.
(This story has not been edited by ENGLISHBULLETIN staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)