30 Kodiyakarai fishermen booked after clash with officials over berthing of Ramnad boat
The officials were attempting to seize a fibreglass vessel that had illegally berthed close to Kodiyakarai when the panchayat members objected and clashed with them, sources said.
Published: 01st December 2022 02:10 AM | Last Updated: 01st December 2022 02:10 AM | A+A A-
NAGAPATTINAM: The Coastal Security Group (CSG) police have booked around 30 members of the fishing community in Kodiyakarai, including the panchayat president, over their alleged clash with a group of officials at sea on Tuesday.
The officials were attempting to seize a fibreglass vessel that had illegally berthed close to Kodiyakarai when the panchayat members objected and clashed with them, sources said. According to sources, following the fisheries department receiving information of a fibreglass reinforced plastic vessel from Ramanathapuram district having anchored a few hundred metres off Kodiyakarai, a team, including personnel from the department’s Marine Enforcement wing, plunged into action on Tuesday.
Save for Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts, a ban is in place for vessels from other districts in the State from berthing at Kodiyakarai, a fisheries department said. The ban came into effect after the fishers in Vedaranyam taluk, under which Kodiyakarai falls, recently placed their concerns about depleting fish reserves in Palk Strait with the fisheries department.
The fishers in other districts prefer Kodiyakarai as it is the apex portion of Palk Bay and serves as a convenient base to fish in Palk Strait during the monsoon. Kodiyakarai has, however, been hosting fishers from even other districts for a 'commission'.
One of their primary revenue contributors are the Ramanathapuram fishers coming in their fibreglass vessels. It is against this backdrop that the team from the fisheries department set out to Kodiyakarai on Tuesday to apprehend the vessel that berthed close to shore. The vessel belonged to Prabhu of Rameswaram in the Ramanathapuram district.
The fishers, however, told the officials that their vessel developed a snag following which they anchored near Kodiyakarai. The officials refused to believe them, sources added. Meanwhile, on learning of the confrontation, a group from Kodiyakarai led by panchayat president P Subramaniyan headed to the spot and tried to prevent the officials.
An altercation ensued between them and officials at sea, sources further said. Based on a complaint from the fisheries department, the Marine Police in Vedaranyam on Wednesday booked the 30 villagers under various sections of the IPC, including 506 clause 2 (criminal intimidation). A CSG official said they will be arrested soon.