Amid remarks by a fisheries department official in Puducherry that two fishermen were seriously injured when Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly opened fire at their fishing boat off Kodiakarai coast, External Affairs Ministry on Thursday said there was “no evidence” to suggest Lankan Navy’s involvement. “Our mission has made inquiries. There is no evidence to suggest that the Sri Lankan Navy was involved,” MEA Spokesperson Vikas Swarup said.
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According to Joint Director of Fisheries, Nagapattinam, Amal Xavier, the two fishermen from Karaikal district in Puducherry were part of a large group of fishermen who had ventured into the sea in more than 100 boats last evening, from here and Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu.
When they were fishing about 11 nautical miles off Kodiakarai coast, Lankan naval personnel opened fire at their boats in which the duo, Balamurugan (21) and Aravind (22), sustained severe injuries, he said.
However, all the fishermen managed to escape and reach Karaikal coast this morning with the injured, who have been admitted to Puducherry government hospital, he added.
Swarup also said as many as four Indian fishermen and 130 fishing boats were currently in Lankan custody.
He also hoped that there would be an early meeting of the Joint Working Group, setting up of which was announced after the meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Lankan counterpart here recently.