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Aug 25, 2012 at 06:53am IST

Sri Lankan Navy issued death threats, say TN fishermen

It has been revealed that the TN fishermen detained by the Sri Lankan navy were threatened with death while they were in custody for a few hours at Neduntivu on Tuesday. “The Lankan navy personnel laughed after attacking the fisherman,” said the injured fisherman Adimai.

The Lankan navy detained 16 fishermen in mid-sea on Tuesday and they were taken to Neduntivu later where they were interrogated. The SL personnel attacked the fishermen with iron rods, ropes, lathi and bottles.

The detention comes in the wake of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh two days ago, in which she urged the government to protect fishermen and their fishing equipment.

Adimai of Thankatchimadam, who was injured, said that the Lankan navy threatened the fishermen not to divulge about the attack to others. They warned that if the fishermen revealed about the attack, they would meet a sad end just like the four fishermen John Paul, Victus, Antony Raj and Marimuthu, whose bodies were washed ashore without heads and limbs after four days of detention in 2010.

 Adimai mentioned that the Lankan navy tied him to a boat anchor and tried to throw him overboard. But he begged them to leave him as he has five daughters and a son to take care of. Then they attacked him with an iron rod and rope. The Sri Lankan navy personnel were truculent and want to divert the attention of government and media whenever the five detained fishermen are produced before the Mallagam court, he added.

Adimai is being treated in the government headquarters hospital here.

Jesu, a fisherman from Thankatchimadam,  said that the Lankan navy indicated that it was responsible for the death of the four fishermen, during the attack on the fishermen in Neduntivu. Therefore, the government should take immediate steps to secure the release of the five fishermen. Moreover, there would no use of retrieving Katchativu. Only fishing rights in waters without boundaries would bring a solution to the fishermen issue, he added.