Did Coast Guard really attack fishermen?

The marine police of the Coastal Security Group registered First Information Report (FIR) against the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Tuesday, based on a complaint from a Rameswaram fisherman alleging that he was fired at even as the ICG denied opening fire.

The Indian Coast Guard on Tuesday denied allegations that personnel on one of its ships opened fire on Tamil Nadu fishermen who were fishing in the Palk Bay on Monday.

The fishermen had alleged that the personnel on the Coast Guard ship — Rani Abbakka — had fired rubber bullets on them, injuring two of them. They also alleged that the personnel had thrashed them.

In a detailed statement, the Coast Guard said, “Coast Guard vessel on patrol off IMBL in the Palk Bay was routinely investigating fishing boat namely ‘Jehovah Jireh’while engaged in pair trawling, which is not permitted in the waters of Tamil Nadu.”

The On sighting the approaching Coast Guard ship, the fishing boat ‘Jehovah Jireh’ fled away from the scene leaving its nets behind in the water and did not stop despite repeated caution by the Coast Guard Ship.

During the chase, the boat had also rammed into the Coast Guard ship. After a chase of 50 minutes, the boat was finally stopped and investigated and also cautioned by the Coast Guard ship to stop for checks whenever called upon by the Coast Guard.

The stopping of the fishing boat “Jehovah Jireh” and subsequent investigations were carried out in a peaceful manner as per the Standard Operating Procedures of the Indian Coast Guard. There was no use of force or any firing by the Indian Coast Guard.

The attributability of injury and/ or bruises, if any, on the fishermen of the fishing boat “Jehovah Jireh” by the Coast Guard are wholly denied as the investigations were undertaken in a peaceful manner as per the Standard Operating Procedure