Decision to release 2 Indian fishermen in Lankan custody on Nov 1

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The two fishermen hail from Kottaipattanam and Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu and were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on October 18….reports Asian Lite News

The decision to release two Indian fishermen from the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), will be taken on November 1.

The Sri Lankan Navy said on Saturday that legal proceedings were underway at Kayts Magistrate Court.

The two fishermen hail from Kottaipattanam and Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu and were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on October 18.

According to the Sri Lankan Navy, Indian fishing boats crossing the IMBL were chased away but the boat in which the three Indian fishermen — Suganthan, Xavier, and Rajkiran were fishing did not heed to the Navy and crossed into the Sri Lankan waters. The boat hit the Naval vessel and Raj Kiran was drowned but the other two, Suganthan and Xavier were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy to Jaffna in Northern Lanka.

However, the Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were fishing in other boats close to ‘Suresh’, the boat in which the three Indian fishermen were in, said that the Sri Lankan Navy had deliberately collided with the boat used by the Indian fishermen and that Rajkiran was killed by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Prabhakaran, a fisherman from Kottaipattanam, Tamil Nadu who was close to the boat in which three fishermen were in, said that Raj Kiran was killed by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Meanwhile, the body of Rajkiran was handed over by the Sri Lankan naval officials to the Indian side at the IMBL. The body was brought into Kottaipattanan on Saturday where hundreds of people including Rajkiran’s mother, wife, and other relatives were present when the body was brought to Kottaipattanam. The body was later cremated the same day.

Tamil Nadu law minister S. Raghupathy visited the residence of Rajkiran and handed over a cheque for Rs 10 lakh sanctioned by the Chief Minister M.K. Stalin as solatium to the family of the deceased fisherman.

The minister also promised to provide a job to Rajkiran’s wife, Brinda, who is a qualified lab technician. Pudkottai district collector Kavitha Ramu also paid her last respects to Rajkiran.

Fishermen in Kottaipattanam, Pudukottai called off the agitation they were conducting since the news of Rajkiran’s tragic death and the arrest of Suganthan and Xavier was received in the mainland.

Murugesan, leader of the fishermen association of Kottaipattanam while speaking to IANS said, “We are calling off the agitation for the time being after talking to the officials who visited us. We were expecting all three of them coming back together, however, Rajkiran’s body was what we received but we trust the word of the officials and are expecting the other two to reach back home safely in a few days’ time.”

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