Sri Lanka's navy fatally shoots one Indian fisherman, wounds three

Fishing boats Photograph:( Others )

ANI Madurai, Tamil Nadu, India Mar 06, 2017, 09.37 PM (IST)

Sri Lanka's navy fatally shot an Indian fisherman off the coast of India's southern Tamil Nadu state, a development that threatens to sour relations between the two countries.

Three other fishermen were injured during the shooting in Adambalam, part of India-controlled waters, Indian media reports suggested.

The latest flash point comes a week after the Sri Lankan Navy detained 15 Indian fishermen and took away their equipment and fishing gear.

The incident comes on the heels of Tamil Nadu's chief minister E. Palanisami writing a letter to India's federal government, shedding light about Colombo's repeated harassment of fishermen from the state.

The chief minister's letter had highlighted how Sri Lanka was wantonly detaining fishermen in the past few months.

The two countries, which are separated by 12 nautical miles, have been embroiled in a terse fishing dispute over the last few years.

India says the island nation have been guilty of arresting people fishing in the Palk Strait, and Sri Lanka accuses India of using mechanised trawlers that are damaging to the ecosystem. 

Colombo in the past has urged the Indian side to ban the trawlers but New Delhi has remained reticent about it.

Sri Lanka also cites the advantage the Indian fishermen have when they use mechanised trawlers. They claim the Indian fishermen often transgress the International Maritime Border and deprive their fishermen of their daily catch.

Relations had hit a low point in 2015 when the then prime minister Ranil Wickramsinghe had told a television channel that "if Indian fishermen cross the sea boundary, Sri Lankan navy can shoot them" -- comments that were condemned by human rights activists and was also objected strongly by New Delhi.

(WION with inputs from ANI)

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