16 Indian fishermen detained

[TamilNet, Saturday, 19 December 1998, 14:24 GMT]
Sixteen fishermen from India's southern state of Tamil Nadu were detained yesterday by the Sri Lankan Army SLA in Nagar Kovil on the southeastern coast of Jaffna when they came ashore after having lost their bearings in the sea.

The three trawlers in which they were sailing are also in the army's custody. The sixteen fishermen are from Ramanathapuram (Ramnad)and Tuticorin (Thoothukudy) on the southern coast of Tamil Nadu.

They told the TamilNet's Vadamaradchi correspondent who spoke to them yesterday that they had set out to sea in the three trawlers on Thursday December around 1 p.m. from the coastal town of Kodiaakarai in southern Tamil Nadu.

Out in the deep sea, their vessels were caught in a current during the night. They had seen land yesterday around 8 a.m. yesterday.

They had initially assumed that it was the coastal town of Nagapattanam in Tamil Nadu, but had realised upon coming closer to shore that they were in Sri Lankan waters.

Fearing the SLA might open fire on them if they attempted to sail away, the fishermen had decided to come ashore, according to Anthony Fernando Rayappan of Kila Veppaaru in Tuticorin.

Two of them swam to the Nagar Kovil beach and made contact in the village. Then all the fishermen came ashore around 10 a.m. with the help of the villagers said sources. The fishermen said they were happy to hear the people of Nagar Kovil speak Tamil.

The army took them away around 2 a.m. in the afternoon from the village residents said. The fishermen said that they have requested the army to release them along with their trawlers.

Anthony Fernando Rayappu of Tuticorin told the TamilNet correspondent that his brother went missing while fishing close to Sri Lankan waters but that no politician in Tamil Nadu had shown any interest in the matter.

The only person in the state who spoke up for his missing brother was the leader of Pattaali Makkal Kadchi (PMK) Dr. Ramdoss said Anthony Fernando.

The fishermen said that they were worried that their families would be looking for them in desperation and despair.

The sixteen fishermen are:

1.Muththukkaruppan Irulaanji 27, Ramanathapuram.
2.Nagasamy Babu 14, Kuththukkal Valasai, Ramanathapuram
3.Akkinraj Sesurachchi 29 Sippikkulam, Tuticorin
4.Melson Vinosan, 21 Kila Veppaaru, Tuticorin
5.Vellaichaamy Kaasinaathar 16, Vellaiyaavalasai, Ramanathapuram
6.Adaikkalam Soosaiappu, 28, Solampattaai,
7.Vellaiyan Paalraj, 26, Kuththukkal Valasai, Ramanathapuram
8.Soosai Anthony Elsin 18, Tuticorin
9.K.Karuppaiah, 35, Ramanathapuram
10.Virsin Anthonypichchai, 37, Tuticorin
11.Karuppaiah Kesakaruppaandian, 26, Kadampan Kundu, Ramanathapuram
12.Rasappan Merin,16, Kila Veppaaru, Tuticorin
13.Anthony Fernando Rayappan 43, Kila Veppaaru, Tuticorin
14.Pichchai Appa Moorthy 32, Kila Veppaaru, Tuticorin
15.Muththaiah Sellaiah, 65, Thennakulam, Ramanathapuram
16.Pichchaiah Mig Joseph,48, Tuticorin

The trawlers are: 'Thomas Villavarayar', 'Andrews Perin' and 'Rayappar'

 

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