Photo credit: New India Express
For four days villagers in Kottaipattinam, Tamil Nadu, have been staging a sit-in protest to demand the return of two Tamil fishermen captured by the Sri Lankan navy, as well as the corpse of Rajkiran.
The protests come days after the fishermen were captured by Sri Lankan authorities with Kottaipattinam’s Fishermen Association’s Leader, Chinnaadaikalam, maintaining that Rajkiran was murdered by the Sri Lankan navy.
“We have seen pictures of the body. This is not what a person looks like if they drown. The Sri Lankans have given him acid and tortured him. That’s why his body has swelled up. We want answers from the government”.
He further added:
“We are very disappointed by the behaviour of the government. Is the life of our fishermen not important? This has been a problem for several years. We’ve all borne atrocities by the Sri Lankan government. Get us our two boys and the body of Rajkiran soon,”
With the Sri Lankan government remaining silent on the issue, Chinnaadaikalam has threatened to escalate protests if Rajkiran’s body was not returned today.
Prabhakaran, a fisherman who had travelled in a boat that was next to the vessel captured, told reporters.
“More than 120 boats took off on Monday. We were fishing in Indian waters only. We saw a Sri Lankan navy vessel doing the rounds. When they came near us, we all ran away. I saw the boat 'Suresh' and was communicating with Rajkiran through walkie-talkie. He was the one who alerted us about the arrival of the SL vessel. I saw the vessel chasing the boat and subsequently capturing it. After that, we couldn’t get to the boat through walkie-talkie”.
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