Body of fisherman who drowned in attack near Nagapattinam washes ashore

The police advised Akkaraipettai fishers to remain calm as Kalathinathan's last rites were conducted on Tuesday evening.
Boats remained berthed at harbour in Nagapattinam on Tuesday
Boats remained berthed at harbour in Nagapattinam on TuesdayPhoto | Express

NAGAPATTINAM: Two days after a fisherman was killed and another left with injuries in a mid-sea clash that broke out between two fisher groups near Nagapattinam, the body of a 27-year-old, who drowned in the waters during the attack, washed ashore on Tuesday.

The youth's last rites were performed that evening, even as hundreds of police personnel persisted to contain simmering tensions between the villages of Akkaraipettai and Keechankuppam.

The youth, S Kalathinathan of Akkaraipettai, along with his brother S Sivanesaselvam (31) was killed after a trawler from Keechankuppam allegedly damaged at sea the fishing nets of a group from Akkaraipettai in a motorised boat on Sunday.

The Keechankuppam fishers also rammed their trawler into the other group’s vessel and assaulted them, sources said. While Akkaraipettai residents discovered Sivanesaselvam's body floating in sea in the early hours of Monday, Kalathinathan's body washed ashore at Kallaar near Nagapattinam the next day.

Following the incident, fishing activities were suspended in both villages. Police personnel were deployed at vulnerable spots and at Nagapattinam harbour following the incident. The police advised Akkaraipettai fishers to remain calm as Kalathinathan's last rites were conducted on Tuesday evening. Meanwhile, Akkaraipettai, the chieftain fisherfolk panchayat of Nagapattinam district, has “ostracised” Keechankuppam residents following the clash.

“As their fisherfolk killed two of our men, we are breaking up all trade ties with them," a fisher representative from Akkaraipettai said. While seven accused fishermen from Keechankuppam surrendered at Arukatuthurai on Monday, the boat owner R Balakumar allegedly went underground.

A special team from the district police traced him and arrested him on Tuesday. "The main accused fled to Thanjavur and then to Tiruppur. Our team arrested him and handed him over to CSG. We also arrested a ninth accused near Keelaiyur," SP Harsh Singh told TNIE.

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