Hundreds of fishermen today staged a demonstration at Thangachimadam in this island to protest the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The 22-year-old Indian fisherman was shot dead yesterday allegedly by the Lankan Navy personnel while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet.
The protesting fishermen have refused to accept the body of the fisherman unless a central minister visits the island and gives them an assurance that such incidents would not happen again, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President S Emiret said.
The fishermen have also demanded the arrest of the Lankan navy men involved in the incident, he said.
The fishermen alleged that there was no proper coordination between Lankan and Indian officials on the issue of fishermen fishing in the Palk Strait.
They demanded the release of all Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and also the boats seized by them.
Policemen have been deployed in the island to monitor the situation.
Bridgo, from Thangachimadam in central Rameswaram of Tamil Nadu, was fishing near the islet along with others when Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly opened fire.
Fisheries Department Assistant Director Kulanchinathan had said Bridgo was shot in the neck and died on the spot.
Another fisherman, Saravanan (22), suffered injuries in the firing while others at the spot escaped unhurt and returned to the shore, he had said yesterday.
The Tamil Nadu government had recently protested the rise in the cases of its fishermen being arrested by Sri Lanka and said the Centre did "not seem to put adequate pressure" on Colombo regarding the matter.
Noting that currently there were 85 fishermen and 128 fishing boats in Lankan custody, Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had urged the Prime Minister to direct the External Affairs Ministry officials to take concrete action through diplomatic channels to secure their release.
The Pioneer, March 8, 2017