A public interest litigation petition (PIL) was filed in the Madras High Court Bench in Madurai on Friday seeking a direction to the Centre as well as State Government to extradite the accused in a case registered in connection with the death of Rameswaram fisherman K.Britjo (21) who was allegedly shot dead by the Sri Lankan Navy on the high seas on March 6.
The case, filed by D. Raju of Naam Tamilar Katchi, has been listed for hearing before a Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan on Monday.
Claiming that around 600 Indian fishermen had been killed so far on the high seas allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, the petitioner said that none of the accused in those cases was ever brought to book and made to face trial.
Striking a comparison with the prosecution launched against Italian marines who reportedly shot dead two Indian fishermen off the Kerala coast in 2012, the petitioner said that the Centre had adopted a soft approach against Sri Lankan Navy personnel alone despite there being an extradition treaty between the two countries for surrendering criminals to each other for prosecution.
The petitioner also accused the Centre of not providing proper protection to the Indian fishermen despite a specific direction issued by the High Court Bench in 2011 to deploy adequate number of Coast Guard vessels to monitor the movement of vessels across the International Maritime Boundary Line besides maintaining air surveillance over the area.
“By taking advantage of the fact that there was no proper protection… the Sri Lankan Navy personnel are attacking the Tamil fishermen, snatching away their boats, damaging them and even killing the innocent fishermen… Incidents of the fishermen being shot dead by the Sri Lankan Navy are continuing to happen in quick succession,” he said and accused the governments of inaction.
(Source: The Hindu)