TAMIL NADU

Police fire buckshots to disperse clashing fishermen

CUDDALORE, MARCH 3. The police fired 15 rounds of buckshots to quell a flare-up between two groups of fishermen at Samiarpettai near here today.

Earlier, seven Devanampattinam fishermen sustained bleeding injuries inflicted with sickles allegedly by their counterparts at Samiarpettai. Arul (22), Ganesan (18) and Soundar (18) have been admitted to a private hospital here.

Following the incident, tension prevailed all along the coastal villages and as news spread, the fisherfolks of both Devanampattinam and Samiarpettai gathered in strength to take on each other.

The fishermen swamped the area in scores of boats and also gathered in their hundreds of the shores.

When the groups menacingly approached each other, the police, who had been deployed by then, warned them to disperse, but as the fishermen failed to respond, fired buckshots.

Meanwhile, the District Collector, Gagandeep Singh Bedi, along with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, Kandasamy, and the Superintendent of Police, Rajeev Kumar, went to the spot and with the help of the local leaders, brought the situation under control.

It is said the Devanampattinam fishermen went to Samiarpettai, 10 km away, as the area is rich in "perumparai" fish.

They used a banned variety of nets, which got entangled with and tore off the ones already laid by the Samiarpettai fishermen, leading to the friction.

In the evening, a peace committee meeting was held. Police pickets were posted in the villages.

Later, the Collector called on the injured in the hospital.