The body of an Indian fisherman, Rajkiran, who was killed in an alleged collision with a Sri Lankan naval vessel on 18 October 2021 in the waters off Karainagar was recovered and sent to Tamil Nadu, India through Kankesanthurai (KKS) on Saturday.
Following the alleged collision, the deceased went missing while two other Indian fishermen were rescued. Rajkiran's body was recovered on the afternoon of 20 October.
Relatives and villagers who had been protesting for the recovery of his body were outraged when his body was buried within one hour of arrival at the port with his face fully covered by a cloth. Indian police prevented his body to be taken to his home for funeral which has caused further anger amongst relatives and villagers who had been protesting for the recovery of his body.
The handing over of the body to the Indian Navy was delayed due to demands to release the other two fishermen who had travelled with the deceased fisherman. As of yesterday, villagers in Kottaipattinam, Tamil Nadu, were staging a sit-in protest to demand the return of two Tamil fishermen, as well as the corpse of Rajkiran.
The forensic police and the judge who went to KKS to visit the body ordered to hand over the body to the Jaffna Teaching Hospital for autopsy. He was pronounced dead through drowning. However, Kottaipattinam’s Fishermen Association’s Leader, Chinnaadaikalam, maintained that Rajkiran was assassinated by the Sri Lankan navy. Having seen images of the deceased's swollen body, Chinnaadaikalam suspects that Rajkiran was tortured and murdered.
A protest was also led by the May 17 Movement on Saturday demanding the release of Rajkiran's body and justice for assassinated Indian fishermen. Praveen Kumar, the co-ordinator of the movement, condemned the Sri Lankan government for the widespread killings of Tamil Nadu fishermen and the Indian government for not condemning the Sri Lankan government for its continued massacre and for not providing protection to its fishermen. The protestors further called for international legal action against the Sri Lankan state to avoid its continued impunity in the killing of Indian fishermen.
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