Written by Zulfick Farzan
18 Jun, 2021 | 9:17 am
COLOMBO (News 1st); The Indian High Commission in Colombo has rejected the allegations made against the Indian Navy over an alleged attack on Sri Lankan fishermen in the high seas.
“Media reports on 17 June stating that a group of Sri Lankan fishermen were attacked physically by the Indian Navy are blatantly false.,” said a statement on Friday (18).
“We deny any such incident having taken place. The Indian Navy is a highly disciplined and professional force that discharges its responsibilities in an impeccable manner. India is firmly committed to addressing all fishermen-related issues between India and Sri Lanka in a humanitarian manner through established bilateral mechanisms and understandings.,” the statement went on to note.
On Thursday (17), a group of Sri Lankan fishermen who were in the high seas and alleged to have been attacked by the Indian Navy, returned to Sri Lanka.
According to the group of 13 fishermen who had set out to sea in two large multi-day fishing vessels, the Indian Navy had stopped them at the international maritime boundary and attacked them with steel poles.
“The Indian Navy stopped us on the 04th of June stating that they wanted to search the boats for drugs,” said one fisherman who returned to shore.
The Sri Lankan fishermen said their CCTV cameras and other electronic devices were destroyed by the Indian Navy.
The 13 fishermen were taken away for treatment at a local hospital following their arrival to the island on Thursday (17).
In the meantime, a discussion will be held with the Indian Government, with regard to the incident where a group of Sri Lankan fishermen was allegedly attacked by the Indian Navy, the Ministry of Fisheries said.
The discussion will be held on friendly grounds and the alleged attack should be investigated prior to the discussion, Indu Rathnayake, the Secretary to the Fisheries Ministry told News 1st on Friday (Jun. 18).
A committee will be appointed to look into the concerns of the fishermen and hold discussions constantly, she further added.
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