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Coast Guard attacked Tamil fishermen for not speaking in Hindi?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017 • Tamil Comments

In a shocking revelation, it is reported from Rameswaram that Coast Guard personnel fired rubber bullets at Tamil fishermen telling them that they would be ‘shot dead’ if they indulged in fishing without being able to speak in Hindi.

Some fishermen, travelling in a boat owned by Jebamalai of Rameswaram, were fishing on the Indian side of the shore near Rameswaram when they were fired at by Indian Coast Guard personnel who were on a routine patrol sortie. Pitchai was injured in the firing and was later admitted to a Rameswaram Hospital. Tamil fishermen were shocked that they had been attacked by Coast Guard personnel.

Till now, they faced attack only from the Lankan Navy personnel and had always complained that neither the Coast Guard nor the Indian Navy came to their rescue. Coast Guard officials say that it was a case of ‘misfiring’ as they were thought of as Sri Lankan fishermen. However, it might be noted that India has so far arrested the trespassing Lankan fishermen and had never fired at them.

Johnson, another fisherman who was injured, was also treated for his injuries. The fishermen told that they replied in Tamil to questions posed to them by Coast Guard personnel who urged them to speak in Hindi. The incident of Coast Guard personnel attacking Tamil fishermen for apparently not speaking in Hindi has angered fishermen living along the coastal Districts in the State.

Coast Guard, however, has denied the incident.  “On a routine patrol sortie, we came across a boat not belonging to Tamil Nadu which didn’t stop despite our warning. We chased it for 50 minutes before stopping it. We never fired any bullets; in fact, we are not habitual of using rubber bullets. No fishermen was tortured/attacked; wrong data is being fed to the media in this regard,” an official made it clear.