Chennai: A group of three fishermen from Pushpavanam village in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district has complained that they were attacked indiscriminately by pirates in the sea during the wee hours of Monday January 24.
The fishermen said that after attacking them, the pirates robbed the fishing nets and catch of the day.
Fisheries department officials, not wishing to be named, told IANS that the fishermen have been admitted to the general hospital in Vedaranyam with internal injuries. The marine police in Vedaranyam have registered a case.
B. Balamurugan, a fishermen’s association leader at Nagapattinam, told IANS, “The pirates were most likely from Sri Lanka, and with the Navy on one side and pirates on the other side, life has become miserable for Tamil Nadu’s fishermen. The state government and the Ministry of External Affairs must act immediately and provide a safe fishing environment for the fishermen of the state. Our livelihood is at stake and we don’t know what to do.”
The elder fishermen of the coastal areas of Tamil Nadu have been telling the younger lot to go out in groups in the sea, as there could be more attacks from pirates from Sri Lanka due to the poor economic condition in the island nation.
Fishermen in Tamil Nadu are already agitated over Sri Lankan Navy arresting Indian fishermen — mostly from Tamil Nadu — for crossing the International Marine Boundary Line (IMBL) and confiscating their fishing vessels.
The Sri Lankan fisheries and aquatic department had published an advertisement in the newspaper declaring auction of 105 fishing boats seized from fishermen from Tamil Nadu.
Several fishermen’s organisations in Tamil Nadu have already lodged protests with the Centre and the state government to prevent the auction of the vessels.
It may be noted that five fishermen from Tamil Nadu lost their lives in 2021 in attacks by Sri Lankan Navy, while 55 are under judicial custody in the island nation.