External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday said India is taking up the issue of fishermen with the Sri Lankan government through diplomatic channels. She also added that the Sri Lankan government has assured probe into the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Lankan Navy. Making a statement in the Lok Sabha, the External Affairs Minister said Sri Lanka has, however, denied the role of its navy in the killing.
“We have taken up the issue of our fishermen with Sri Lankan government to ensure that our fishermen are treated in a humane manner,” the minister said.
“A fishing vessel from Tamil Nadu was fired upon allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, leading to the death of an Indian fisherman. The government took up the matter… and expressed our strong concern over the incident,” she said.
“Our High Commissioner personally spoke to Sri Lankan Prime Minister and Navy commander on this matter. They maintained their patrol boats are not authorised to fire at Indian fishermen,” the minister said.
Six fishermen from Thangachimadam in Ramanathapuram district were fishing near the Katchatheevu islet in the narrow sea dividing the two countries when they were fired at on the night of March 6, Indian officials said. One fisherman, K. Britjo, was killed while another was injured. The others escaped without injuries.