No firing on Indian fishermen in our waters, says Coast Guard

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) There has been no firing on Indian fishermen in our waters, Indian Coast Guard Director General, Vice Admiral A.G. Thapliyal, said Friday.

Asked about the repeated incidents of firing and arrests of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy, Thapliyal said all such incidents took place in Sri Lankan waters.
“There has been no firing on Indian fishermen in Indian waters,” Thapliyal said, responding to a question on fishermen’s safety in the sea.
He was addressing a press conference here on the eve of the 37th anniversary of the Indian Coast Guard, which falls Feb 1.
He added the Palk Bay where the fishermen go is narrow and they often stray into Sri Lankan waters. He also said the Coast Guard boats did not cross the maritime boundary and were helpless in such scenario.
“We have an agreement, we cannot cross the maritime boundary. Unless there is a repatriation, we do not go into their waters,” he said.
A total of 38 Indian fishermen were Thursday arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for engaging in alleged illegal fishing activity in the Sri Lankan waters.
In October last year, a firing incident was reported near Rameswaram.
On a question of an attack at fishermen near the Gujarat coast, the Coast Guard chief again said they were in Pakistani waters.
“An inquiry was ordered into the incident, and we found the fishermen were 40 miles inside the national maritime boundary with Pakistan,” Thapliyal said.
An Indian fisherman was killed and 30 others were arrested by Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency from off the Jakhau coast in Gujarat October last year.