Inquest into fisherman's death

[TamilNet, Thursday, 08 July 1999, 19:01 GMT]
The Mannar District Judge, M.Ilancheliyan today ordered Mannar Police and the Registrar of the Mannar District Court to inform the Indian High Commissioner of the death of Alfred, a Tamil Nadu fisherman, and the detention of three others by the Sri Lanka Navy (SLN).

The inquest into the death of Alfred the Tamil Nadu fisherman took place today in Mannar in the presence of Acting Magistrate Gayas Feldano.

Fishermen Soosai Michael Kasmir,45, Boniface John Bosco, 45 and Paulsami Ramachandran of Ramanathapuram South India who were with the deceased gave evidence at the inquest.

They said that they came out in a trawler to fish in the deep sea as usual, and when their boat engine broke down, they anchored the trawler and tried to fix the engine.

But the trawler had drifted and suddenly a boat appeared and a person in white pair of shorts and blue shirt gave hand signals to take off the anchor, they said.

However, when they tried to take off the anchor people in the plastic boat had fired at them, killing Alfred they said.

The boat vanished after the firing, they told at the inquest.

After a little while, another big boat belonging to SLN had come and taken them, along with the body and the trawler to Thalaimannar, they told the courts.

Later they were brought to Mannar they had said.

They appealed to the courts to grant permission for them to leave for Tamil Nadu with the body of the colleague.

But Judge M.Ilancheliyan refused their appeal saying that Sri Lankan Immigration regulations did not permit the courts to grant such requests.

He also ordered the Police to hand over the body to Mannar hospital and to hand over the three fishermen to the Immigration authorities at Mirihana in Colombo district.

Police are conducting further inquiries into Alfred's death, said sources.

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