SL Navy denies attacking TN fishermen

Wednesday, 17 February 2016 00:07 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shanika Sriyananda

Denying the alleged attack on Indian fishermen in the sea near Kachchativu, the Sri Lanka Navy yesterday said it was only apprehending those who crossed the country’s territorial waters.

“The SLN will never attack or do any physical harm to the innocent fishermen even when they cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). But we will take them into custody and will hand over them to the Police or the Department of Fisheries for further legal action,” SLN Media Spokesman Captain Akram Alavi said.

When asked about Indian media reports citing an attack on 10 Tamil Nadu fishermen with iron rods and ropes by the SLN, he strongly denying the accusation said that the SLN would never resort to such action although the fishermen had violated the maritime boundary line laws of Sri Lanka.

He confirmed that there were no records of detecting fishermen in the sea near Kachchativu by the SLN as Indian media reported early this week.

Indian media reported that the 10 Rameswaram-based Indian fishermen were attacked with iron rods and ropes while fishing near Kachchativu.

Meanwhile, Fisheries Department sources said that the politically-motivated Tamil Nadu fishermen’s organisations come up with such fabricated incidents to disrupt the annual St. Antony’s Church festival at Kachchativu island, which will be held from 20 February.

Over 4,000 pilgrims are expected to take part in the two-day festival, which will begin with a flag-hoisting ceremony.