Protests in India after fisherman is shot dead by Sri Lankan navy

Sri Lanka's cabinet 'clears port deal' after security concerns addressed
United Bank for Africa

A Tamil fisherman was allegedly shot dead by the Sri Lankan Navy triggering protests in south India, following which Delhi raised concerns over the killing with Colombo, a news report said on Tuesday.

It said that the shooting took place on Monday when the fishermen were fishing in the Palk Strait that divides India from Sri Lanka.

The leaders of the fishermen told newsmen a fisherman identified as K Britso, 22, died from gun-shot wounds and two more were injured.

Over 1,000 people had gathered at the victim’s village in Tamil Nadu state’s Rameswaram district in protest, while his family refused to accept the body, demanding action from the Indian and Sri Lankan governments.

“The Indian High Commission in Colombo had taken up the matter with Sri Lankan Premier RanilWickremesinghe.

“The Sri Lankan Navy had promised a full and thorough investigation into the killing,’’ it said.

Indian fishermen and the Sri Lankan Navy clash frequently, amid Colombo’s complaints that the fishermen trespass into its waters.

According to Indian officials, 85 fishermen and over 100 fishing boats are in Sri Lankan custody.

Fishermen associations claimed the fishermen were fishing off Dhanushkodi, well within Indian territorial waters, when the incident took place.

They said the shooting took place without warning and in spite of previous assurances by Sri Lanka that even in cases of trespass; the fishermen will not be shot at, but be detained and prosecuted legally.