RAMANATHAPURAM: Escalating the tensions in Palk Straits further, a 21-year-old fisherman from Tamil Nadu was shot dead while another suffered bullet injuries when their boat came under attack late on Monday night, allegedly from the Sri Lankan Navy.
K Bridjo from Thangachimadam in coastal Ramanathapuram is the first fatality in about five years that is blamed on the Lankan Navy. His neighbour and fellow boatman, Jeron (28) suffered injuries to his hand, and undergoing treatment at Ramanathapuram government general hospital.
The shooting sent shock waves among the fishermen community, as it came close on the heels of a string of detentions - 59 fishermen from Tamil Nadu were taken into custody by the Lankan Navy in just the last five days.
According to sources, when more than 100 fishermen on 15 mechanised boats were fishing near Palk Straits, a group of Lankan navy personnel on water scooters surrounded the boats and opened fire on the fishermen. Bridjo suffered injuries to his throat, and died before being brought to the shore.
Angry relatives have refused to receive his body from the hospital, demanding that a minister should visit them, and also seeking assurance for a permanent solution.