Muslim fisherman forcibly drowned in Mannar

[TamilNet, Saturday, 01 July 2006, 09:02 GMT]
Sri Lanka Navy troopers who set out in 3 Dvora Fast Attack Crafts from their Talaimannar base, captured two fishermen in the seas off Karisal, a Muslim coastal village 12 km northwest of Mannar town, around 10:00 a.m. Saturday, and forcibly drowned one of the fishermen. The SLN threw the fisherman overboard even after he pleaded that he cannot swim, according to the fisherman who was forced by the SLN to search for the victim. Two other Muslim fishermen in a separate boat, were arrested by the SLN soldiers, handed over to Vankalaipaadu SLN, and released later. Tension prevails in Karisalpaadu, which is located between Vankalaipadu and Erukkalampiddy.

Two fishermen were captured with their boat by SLN soldiers in the 3 Dvora FACs that chased away around 15 boats engaged in fishing off the Karisalpadu coastal village near the troubled Pesalai area in Mannar district Saturday.

The fishermen who showed the Fishing Pass provided by the SLN, were beaten up by the troopers in the Dvora FACs.

One of the fishermen, Ibrahim Azeeq, 34, a father of four, begged for his life saying he could not swim.

However, the navy troopers threw him off board, according to the fisherman Mohammed Fahim, 27, who was set free by the troopers.

Azeeq managed to reach his hand and was holding the stem of the boat. However, the troopers attacked the fisherman blocking his grip on the boat and Azeeq drowned, Faim said.

Fahim, who could swim, said he jumped off board, unable to tolerate the beating. Fahim is from Pesalai Puthukudiyiruppu.

He was later forced to locate the body of Azeeq and was set free by the navy men.

A few minutes later, the navy men arrested two other Muslim fishermen and handed them over to the SLN officials at Vankalaipaadu. The fishermen were set free by the SLN officials in Vankalaipaadu.

Mannar Government Agent V. Visvalingam and Mannar Divisional Secretary Stanley de Mel, visited the Karisal village with Sri Lanka Monitoring Mission monitors.

The Sri Lankan Government officials who had earlier provided assurances to the fishermen's safety, on Saturday assured the Muslim villagers that they could search the sea after 24 hours, Sunday morning, for the missing fisherman, flying white flags in their boats.


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