Tamil Nadu fishermen demand prosecution of Lankan Navy personnel under Indian law

(TAMIL NADU, LANKAPUVATH) – While the protest against Sri Lankan Navy for shooting down a state fisherman entered the second-day at Rameswaram, one of the major demands placed before the Central Government was to prosecute the Lankan Navy personnel under the Indian law, The New Indian Express reported.

Citing the case of 2 Italian marines accused of killing 2 Kerala fishermen in 2012, many protestors including Ramanathapuram Parliamentarian A. Anwar Raja appealed to the Centre to prosecute the Lankan Navy personnel for the crime.

The history of the conflict between Tamil Nadu fishermen and Lankan Navy shows that there has been only one instance when a Lankan Navy Commander was arrested for allegedly killing 2 fishermen, Susaiappar and Alphonse, in a shootout near the Gulf of Mannar in 1985.

Under pressure from then Chief Minister M. G. Ramachandran, the Congress-Government at the Centre directed the Indian Coastal Guard (ICG) to arrest the Commander.

On January 8, 1985, the ICG surrounded the Lankan Navy vessel in the high seas before bringing the Commander to Mandapam; he was released later, said U. Arulanantham, President of Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen, adding that it was not known what happened to the case.

 

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