Four days later, the wait continues for the return of 2 Indian fishermen arrested, 1 body from Sri Lanka, India News News
It has been four days since Indian fishermen Rajkiran, Xavier and Suganthiran left their respective homes in the fishing hamlet of Kottaipattinam, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.
The fishing boat in which they were traveling sank near the island of Delft (between India and Sri Lanka), due to what the Sri Lankan navy calls “a collision” with their boat.
As the respective families of the fishermen and their community continue to await the return of Xavier and Suganthiran (who were arrested by the Lankan Navy), Rajkiran’s family should wait for a body bag.
During the week, the fishing community in Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts in Tamil Nadu protested what they called “deliberate action to collide and sank the Indian fishing boat.” They allege that the latest incident looks completely like an incident in January this year where a Lankan navy boat crashed into an Indian fishing vessel, resulting in the capture, torture and death of its four members of crew.
“Their boat capsized because of them (the Lankan forces). It was not an unexpected incident as they planned. Their navy has radars and a collision like this cannot happen. They have continued the boat and it ended like that. Sri Lanka is responsible “, complains Prabhakaran, a fisherman who would have traveled on another boat, close to the unfortunate.
The announcement of the recovery of the mortal remains came on Wednesday afternoon. However, on Friday evening, there is no indication that their return will hinder. Members of the fishing community hoped to recover their two men and the remains of the third fisherman by Friday evening – repatriation usually takes place at night, to avoid public order concerns. However, they believe their wait would be longer.
Representatives of the Indian Federation of Traditional Fishermen are unhappy with what they call “the inaction of central and local government”. They feel particularly disappointed with the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, Deputy Stalin, who strongly expressed the concerns of the fishermen and promised to help them, when he was an opposition leader. “Two days after this latest incident, our chief minister wrote to the central government asking them to work to secure the release of two fishermen and to recover the body of the third fisherman. However, it is ironic that he sent this letter. nearly eight hours after the media reported that the body had been recovered at sea. When he was leader of the opposition, he was shooting letters instantly, ”asked a leader of the fishing community who spoke to WION.
Regarding the incident, the Sri Lankan navy claimed that “the Indian vessel was poaching in Sri Lankan waters, across the international maritime border (IMBL) on Monday”. They added that the collision happened when the Lankan Navy craft was chasing Indian fishing boats. “One of the Indian fishing trawlers, with aggressive maneuvering, resisting the pursuit, attempted to escape the scene, causing it to collide with SLN Craft in operation. In the process, it eventually came down having lost stability as well as due to rough sea conditions, ”the Lankan Navy statement read.
The problem between the fishermen of Tamil Nadu and the Lankan navy is old and thorny. It is often alleged that Indian fishermen deliberately head to Lankan waters – where the quality and quantity of the catch is better – and engage in bottom trawling, an unsustainable fishing practice that affects ecology and marine life. long-term.
Sri Lanka maintains that arrests of foreign fishermen are carried out to protect the livelihoods of their own fishing community. Recently, Lankan fishermen from the north of the island protested, calling on their government to act against Indian fishermen entering their waters. They tried to put pressure on the Indian and Sri Lankan authorities to act against those involved in illegal fishing.
According to the Indian National Federation of Traditional Fishermen, the latest incident involving the Sri Lankan Navy is seen as deliberate revenge for another recent untoward incident involving an Indian boat. A few weeks ago, a large Indian trawler from Tamil Nadu collided and sank a small Lankan fishing boat. While the Lankan boat was completely damaged and lost, the Lankan fishermen survived and returned to shore. It is believed that if the government of Tamil Nadu had taken action against the stray Indian boat and offered compensation to the Lankan fishermen, things would have been resolved amicably. Indian fishermen believe holding talks between them and their Sri Lankan counterparts would help resolve some of the misunderstandings that are based on the recent collision and the alleged intrusion.