A shooting India forgot

A photo provided by the U.S. Navy shows a small vessel that was fired upon by the U.S. Navy off Dubai's coast on Monday, July 16, 2012. The shooting happened Monday afternoon when a boat rapidly approached the refueling ship USNS Rappahannock about 10 miles (16 kilometers) off Dubai's Jebel Ali port, according to the Navy. The Navy said the boat's crew disregarded warnings from the U.S. vessel, and only then did gunners fire on it with a .50-caliber machine gun. But An Indian fisherman aboard the boat shot at by the U.S. Navy off Dubai's coast has told officials the crew received no warning before being fired upon, India's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates said Tuesday, July 17. One Indian was killed in the incident, and three of his countrymen were seriously wounded. Emirati and American officials both say they are investigating. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy)  

While India had managed to detain the two Italian marines, even if briefly, it has not heard anything about the >shooting of another Indian fisherman off a Dubai port more than six months ago.

When contacted the Ministry of External Affairs has said it had yet to hear from the Americans. The shots fired from a U.S. warship in July last year had killed an Indian and injured three others aboard a fishing vessel. The U.S. Embassy had said it would get back and privately an official suggested the enquiry might still be going on.

The US had promptly owned up to the killing and issued a news release stating that the crew of a small motor vessel had come under fire from the USNS Rappahannock on July 16 [2012] after the vessel had disregarded non-lethal warnings and rapidly approached the U.S. ship.

At that time the Foreign Office here had said it would regularly remind the U.S. and UAE authorities (in whose jurisdiction the shooting took place) to ascertain the facts and take further action.

When contacted, officials were not sure if the action as stated had taken place but said the report would be placed in public as promised by then External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna.

The authorities in the UAE had then confirmed that an Indian fisherman had been killed and three other Indians injured. They also informed the Indian mission in Abu Dhabi that a U.S. military vessel had fired shots at a fishing vessel near the port of Jebel Ali, Dubai.

MEA sources said the mission had since stayed in touch with the local authorities who are independently carrying out an investigation into the circumstances leading to the incident.

The shooting had also led to a flurry of diplomatic activity with the U.S. Ambassador to India Nancy Powell calling up Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai to regret the loss of life and assuring that the U.S. government would conduct full investigation. The case has since retreated in the background.

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Printable version | Mar 3, 2021 8:49:58 AM |

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