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Bodies of T.N. fishermen brought to Kottaipattinam

Sri Lankan naval vessel handed them over to ICG

January 24, 2021 02:54 am | Updated 02:54 am IST - PUDUKOTTAI

The body of a fisherman, who was allegedly killed by the Sri Lankan Navy, arriving in Kottaipattinam.

The body of a fisherman, who was allegedly killed by the Sri Lankan Navy, arriving in Kottaipattinam.

The bodies of the four fishermen, who reportedly died after their boat sank when the Sri Lankan Navy tried to apprehend them a few days ago, arrived at Kottaipattinam in Pudukottai district on Saturday.

The fishermen of this hamlet have been alleging that A. Mesiya, 30, V. Nagaraj, 52, N. Samson Darwin, 28, and S. Senthil Kumar, 32, were beaten to death by the Sri Lankan Navy for trespass. They hailed from Ramanathapuram district and set sail on a mechanised boat from the Kottaipattinam jetty on January 18.

After the bodies came in, the fellow fishermen paid floral tributes to them. Emotionally charged relatives, women and friends, who gathered in large numbers since early morning, shed tears. Many raised slogans against the Sri Lankan Navy. The fishermen raised slogans, demanding that the State and Central governments take steps to book all those responsible for the death.

“It is from here that the fishermen ventured into the sea, hoping for a good catch. Now they have been brought back dead. They were brutally killed. No one should suffer an end like this,” said M. Hasan Mohideen, a fisherman.

Health Minister C. Vijayabaskar, accompanied by Pudukottai Collector P. Uma Maheswari, placed wreaths on the bodies. Mr. Vijayabaskar tried to pacify the fishermen, pointing out that Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami had taken up the issue with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Later, the bodies were handed over to their relatives and transported to their villages in Ramanathapuram by ambulance.

Earlier, a Sri Lankan naval vessel handed over the bodies to the Indian Coast Guard near the International Maritime Boundary Line. The bodies were then transferred to a fishing trawler and brought to Kottaipattinam.

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