Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to seek a detailed enquiry by the governments of the United States and United Arab Emirates into the killing of a Tamil Nadu fisherman in the sea off Dubai by an American naval ship.
Quoting media reports, she said in her letter that when four fishermen belonging to Ramanathapuram district, who were employed on contract basis, were engaged on Monday in fishing in a civilian vessel at Jabel Ali, about 30 miles northwest of Dubai and a frequent docking point for American Naval vessels, a security team on board the US Naval Ship ‘Rappahannock’ fired at the fishing boat after it “disregarded warnings and raced towards the ship”.
While 25-year-old A. Sekhar died, the three – M. Panduvanathan, K.Muthukannan and R. Muthumaniraj – sustained bullet injuries and were hospitalised, she said, expressing her sense of pain over the incident.
She also requested Dr Singh to ensure that due compensation was paid to the families of the deceased and the injured. Indian Embassy officials concerned may be advised to render all necessary medical and other assistance to the injured. “As the dead and injured fishermen are innocent fishermen who were conducting fishing in the sea only for their livelihood, please ensure that justice is rendered.”
The Chief Minister recalled a similar incident in February in the sea off Kochi in which one fisherman belonging to Kanyakumari district and another from Kerala were killed in a shooting by security personnel on board an Italian cargo vessel. The Union government made efforts to get compensation from the Italian ship company concerned.
In a statement, Ms. Jayalalithaa announced payment of solatium of Rs. five lakh for the family of Sekhar and Rs. 50,000 each to the families of the injured.