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Mystery over bullet injury to Kochi fisherman; Navy denies role

Incident took place near INS Dronacharya where personnel practise firing

September 07, 2022 05:29 pm | Updated September 08, 2022 02:09 pm IST - KOCHI

The bullet believed to have been recovered from the fishing vessel, one of whose fishers was allegedly hit by a stray bullet.

The bullet believed to have been recovered from the fishing vessel, one of whose fishers was allegedly hit by a stray bullet.

A fish worker had a miraculous escape after being hit by a stray bullet beneath his right ear about 1.5 km off Fort Kochi around 12 noon on Wednesday.

Sebastian, 70, a resident of Azheekkal, was lucky to escape with five stitches since it could have very easily proved fatal. He was part of a 30-member group of fishermen who had gone for fishing from the Kochi fishing harbour in the early morning hours. The incident occurred when the group was returning after fishing.

Something hit beneath his ear followed by a gush of blood. Soon the fish workers got hold of the bullet from the boat itself.

“The incident occurred near INS Dronacharya and the Navy is known to undertake firing training along the area. However, the Navy had denied any role claiming that it is not the kind of bullet they use. However, we find it very hard to take. Either way, it should be thoroughly probed,” said Charles George, convener of Matsya Thozhilali Aikya Vedi.

Commander Atul Pillai, defence PRO, Kochi, said that the bullet injury appeared to be from a weapon of non-military calibre. He denied involvement of the Navy or any military forces in the incident.

‘Injury not serious’

The coastal police recorded the statement of the fisherman and registered a case. “It has to be verified whether any firing had taken place in the area though the Navy has denied it,” said a senior police officer.

Meanwhile, the condition of Sebastian remains stable at a private hospital in West Kochi where he was rushed to. “He remains admitted here for the day. There is nothing serious about the injury,” said hospital sources.

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