Lankan Navy personnel dies while trying to seize TN boat

The boat was registered under the name of V Ananthan of Akkaraipettai village in Nagapattinam district.
Mechanised boat seized by SL authorities on Tuesday
Mechanised boat seized by SL authorities on Tuesday(Photo | Express)

NAGAPATTINAM: A Sri Lankan Navy personnel allegedly died after he suffered critical injuries while attempting to seize an Indian trawler that was fishing near Neduntheevu on Tuesday. A Sri Lankan Navy statement said the Indian fishers had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line and were fishing illegally in Sri Lankan waters.

Around 10 Indian fishers, including seven from Nagapattinam district and one from Cuddalore district, were part of the group of fishers arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on the charge of illegal fishing in the incident.

On Tuesday, around 1.30 am, the Indian fishermen were allegedly fishing near Delft Island (Neduntheevu) of Sri Lanka. They had left on a mechanised boat from Nagapattinam fishing harbour on June 21 morning.

The boat was registered under the name of V Ananthan of Akkaraipettai village in Nagapattinam district. A team from the Lankan Navy’s Northern Naval Command arrived on a fast attack craft, confronted the fishers, and urged them to surrender.

According to the Sri Lankan Navy’s official statement, a sailor from the Navy’s Special Boat Squadron attempted to board the Indian trawler, which maneuvered ‘aggressively’. The sailor suffered critical injuries in the ‘accident’.

The Sri Lankan Navy claimed that their fast attack craft also sustained significant damage due to the ‘aggressive maneuvers’ of the Indian trawler while resisting the seizure. The Lankan naval personnel eventually detained the Indian fishermen, seized their boat and fishing gear, and directed them to Kangesanthurai Fishing Harbour.

Lankan Navy arrested 214 fishermen this year

‘The fishers were handed over to the officials of the Sri Lankan Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Myliddy for legal proceedings.

Meanwhile, the injured sailor to rushed to the shore and admitted to Teaching Hospital in Jaffna. He succumbed to his injuries a few hours later.

According to the Sri Lankan Navy, it has seized a total of 28 Indian trawlers and 214 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters in 2024. “The navy remains steadfast in its mission to safeguard its waters from illegal poaching activities,” said the statement.

An official from the fisheries department in Nagapattinam said, “We are sending a report to our directorate for further action regarding the arrest of fishers.”

Stalin writes to external affairs minister

Chennai: Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday urged External Affairs Minister S Jaisankar to convene the joint working group to prevent further arrests of TN fishermen and to secure their release and fishing boats under the custody of Lankan authorities.

The CM, in his letter to the union minister, said, “The frequent arrests have created an insecure atmosphere among the fishermen community. I earnestly request your immediate intervention to convene the joint working group to prevent further arrests and secure the release of all 47 fishermen and 166 fishing boats from the custody of Lankan authorities,” he added.

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