C. Jaishankar

Incident took place near Katchatheevu

RAMANATHAPURAM: A day after the Sri Lankan Navy shot dead a Tamil Nadu fisherman, another fisherman of Thankatchimadam in Rameswaram Island was injured when it opened fire on a country boat.

The incident took place on Tuesday at 8 p.m. near Katchatheevu, close to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Xavier (26), son of Antony, was hurt in the thigh when a bullet pierced the wooden boat.

"Sri Lankan Navy personnel, who refused to hear our repeated pleas, opened fire on our boat from a distance of just 100 metres. Though we took cover, one of us was hurt. We sailed ashore immediately," said a fisherman who was among the crew.

Doctors referred Xavier to the district headquarters hospital at Ramanathapuram, where he is likely to be operated on.

Collector R. Kirlosh Kumar told The Hindu that he would conduct an inquiry.

S. Velpandian, Assistant Director, Fisheries, said he would soon call a joint meeting of various fishermen's associations in Rameswaram.

Condemning the incident, S.P. Royappan, president, District Country Boat Fishermen Rights Association, Pamban, said it was unfortunate that innocent fishermen were at the receiving end. The State and the Centre Government should intervene immediately.

Second letter

Special Correspondent from Chennai writes:

Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the second consecutive day, drawing his attention to the "indiscriminate firing" by the Sri Lankan Navy and asking him to take urgent action to prevent such incidents.

In his letter on Wednesday, a copy of which was released in Chennai, the Chief Minister said the firing was causing tension in the coastal areas.

Aid from AIADMK

All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam leader D. Jayakumar on Wednesday handed over Rs. 25,000 to the family of Kaliyaperumal of Nagapattinam, who was killed in firing by the Sri Lankan Navy.