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Fisherman shot at by Navy: One year after, police yet to receive second ballistic report

The incident took place on May 17 about 80 km from Mumbai in Bombay High, where oil rigs of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd are located

Written by Rohit Alok | Mumbai |
May 18, 2016 2:27:17 am

A year to the day since a fisherman was “shot” in his shoulder by the Navy near the offshore oilfield Bombay High allegedly for entering restricted waters, the Mumbai Police, probing the incident, are still awaiting the second ballistic report in the matter. The first ballistic report confirms a shot fired by the Navy had injured the fisherman.

The Navy, in its defence, has claimed the shot fired by C S Naik was “accidental” and that there was no intent to kill or injure the fisherman. The Navy claims the bullet was fired into the sea.

The second ballistic report will help prove the trajectory of the bullet and clarify whether the shot was “accidental”.

The incident took place on May 17 about 80 km from Mumbai in Bombay High, where oil rigs of the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Ltd are located. These are secured by the Navy. Luzi (23) of Uttan village was fishing with 18 others in their trawler Christwel. They had an altercation with Navy personnel on board T-14 after the latter claimed they were fishing in a restricted area.

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After being injured, Luzi was quickly transferred to the Navy vessel that took him to the ONGC platform, from where he was airlifted and brought to Juhu airport to be admitted to Nanavati Hospital. Luzi, injured in the right shoulder, was shifted for further treatment to Navy’s INHS Ashwini Hospital in Colaba, where he was treated for nearly two months. Luzi was discharged on July 17.

The Navy said, “…the vessel refused to vacate the area and did not show its papers, despite repeated requests by the warship on patrol. In fact, the boat challenged the warship stating that they would not vacate the area. After issuing adequate verbal warnings when the fishing vessel did not cooperate and since their identity could not be correctly established, the warship on patrol had no choice but to fire warning shots to ensure security of the critical national assets.”

“It may be further noted that post evacuation to Mumbai by helicopter, best medical treatment was provided free co cost to the individual including expensive therapy to facilitate fast recovery of the individual. All administrative and moral support was also extended to the family who were with the injured throughout his treatment at INHS Ashvini. The fisherman was discharged and undergoes regular medical review at the hospital. His recovery seems to have been effective and complete,” the Navy said.

“We have received one ballistic report in the matter that confirms the bullet from the weapon of Naik matches the injury sustained by Luzi. The first ballistic report stated that it was an INSAS rifle and the bullet was 5.56 mm. Last week, we sent a request to the Forensics Sciences Laboratory in Kalina to give us their analysis on the trajectory of the bullet to prove or disprove the claims of the Navy. We are awaiting those reports,” said an investigator.

 

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