Board of Inquiry examining incident of firing warning shot on fishing trawler: Govt

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 09-12-2022 18:36 IST | Created: 09-12-2022 18:36 IST
Board of Inquiry examining incident of firing warning shot on fishing trawler: Govt
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A Board of Inquiry has been ordered into the incident of a fisherman on board an Indian vessel sustaining injuries when an Indian Naval ship fired a warning shot in the Palk Bay area on October 21, the government said on Friday.

Responding to a question in Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt said the fishing trawler did not heed the ''repeated warnings'' both in Tamil and English and the action was initiated based on the ''suspicious'' movements by the vessel.

He said a formal investigation by a Board of Inquiry (BoI) has been ordered into the incident.

The action was taken by Indian Navy ship Bangaram, which was deployed in the Palk Bay area near the India-Sri Lanka International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) for ensuring security of coastal areas of Tamil Nadu as well as the Indian fishing boats operating in the area.

Bhatt said the naval ship detected two trawlers at about 0215 hours on October 21 and that they were operating very close to the India-Sri Lanka IMBL. ''The trawlers were observed throwing articles or packages in water. The naval ship challenged both the suspicious trawlers using signal projector or LRAD (Long Range Acoustic Device) in both Tamil and English language,'' Bhatt said.

He said the second trawler did not heed the repeated warnings.

''Based on the suspicious actions by the trawler, especially its approach towards Indian territory, which was construed as a threat to security, warning shots were fired by the ship across the bows of the trawler in accordance with the established procedures,'' he said.

''The trawler (later identified as Indian flagged trawler SV Sadana; Regd No. IND-TN-06MM831) stopped at about 0415 hours and indicated to the naval ship that one personnel on board had sustained an injury,'' he said.

Bhatt said prompt medical assistance was provided by the ship to stabilise the injured fisherman on board the trawler.

Subsequently, the injured fisherman was evacuated by the Navy's Chetak helicopter at 0640 hours off Rameshwaram and shifted to the General Hospital, Madurai.

Besides the BoI, interactions with local fishing communities have been carried out by the Naval authorities, wherein fishermen have been sensitised to the prevailing security environment in the area and the need to work in tandem with Indian Naval ships for maintaining their safety and security, Bhatt said.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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