Chennai,UPDATED: Oct 22, 2022 02:04 IST
Tamil Nadu CM MK Stalin also ordered a financial aid of Rs 2 lakh from the Chief Minister’s public welfare fund to the fisherman (Picture: India Today)
By India Today Web Desk: The chief minister of Tamil Nadu, MK Stalin, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday requesting that Indian security forces exercise extreme caution and restraint when dealing with Indian fishermen in Indian waters. This comes after a fisherman from Tamil Nadu suffered bullet injuries on Friday when the navy fired warning shots into the sea. After the incident, Tamil Nadu CM sought the intervention of Prime Minister Modi to prevent such incidents.
CM MK Stalin said in his letter: “This is to inform you of an unfortunate incident that occurred in the early hours of 10/21/2022 and has caused significant unrest and fear in the state. Ten fishermen (seven from Tamil Nadu and three from Karaikal) had ventured to fish in a Karaikal-based mechanized fishing boat. While fishing, Thiru Veeravel was shot in the middle of the sea by Indian Navy personnel aboard INS Bangaram.
Veeravel was part of a 10-member fishing group that ventured into fishing in a mechanized boat. Seven fishermen belong to Tamil Nadu and three came from Karaikal in Puducherry. The boat was based at Karaikal.
Speaking further about the medical treatment of the injured fisherman, Stalin wrote: “The injured fisherman has been taken to Ramanathapuram Government Hospital for treatment of serious bullet wounds to the abdomen and thigh. He has been referred to Madurai Government Hospital for further treatment.”
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In a statement, Stalin said he was saddened by the incident and also ordered financial aid of Rs 2 lakh from the Chief Minister’s public welfare fund to the fisherman.
“I am extremely saddened by this incident that happened through an act of the Indian Navy. You are well aware of the plight of Indian fishermen who are being mistreated by Sri Lankan security forces. But when our security forces resort to similar actions, it creates a sense of despair and insecurity in the minds of the oppressed fishing people. I request your intervention in this matter and instruct the Indian security authorities to exercise extreme caution and restraint when dealing with Indian fishermen in Indian waters,” concluded CM Stalin in his letter to the Prime Minister.
Meanwhile, Tamil Nadu’s fisheries minister Anitha Radhakrishnan called the incident “unfortunate and disturbing.”
Veeravel is fully conscious, said Radhakrishnan, who visited the fisherman at the government’s Rajaji Hospital in Madurai. “Doctors who treated him said Veeravel can be saved,” he was quoted as saying by PTI.
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WHAT SAY THE NAVY SAY?
The Navy said the ship intercepted a suspicious boat in Palk Bay and the ship did not stop despite repeated warnings. According to standard operating procedures, the ship fired warning shots to stop the boat.
Defense PRO in a tweet said: “During the early hours of October 21, 2022, a suspicious boat was sighted by the Indian Navy vessel on patrol in Palk Bay near the India Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). Despite repeated warnings, boat did not stop. “
“The ship, according to standard operating procedures, fired warning shots to stop the boat. One of the crew members aboard the suspected boat was said to have suffered injuries. The injured person received first aid from the ship and was evacuated by an Indian Navy Chetak helicopter,” the tweet read.
The boat was spotted by the naval vessel while on patrol near the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line in the early hours of Friday. An investigation has been ordered to investigate the incident, the statement said.
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