Sri Lanka agrees to probe Indian fisherman's killing

The victim, who was reported to be 21, was shot dead Monday and Indian fishermen have said the Sri Lankan navy was responsible.

Sri Lanka agrees to probe Indian fisherman's killing

World Bulletin / News Desk

Sri Lanka said Tuesday it would conduct a joint investigation into the killing of an Indian fisherman in the narrow strip of sea between the two countries, but denied its navy was responsible.

A source in the Indian foreign ministry said that New Delhi was "deeply concerned" and had taken up the matter with the Sri Lankan government.

Fishermen from the two countries often stray into each others' waters, creating diplomatic difficulties, though most are detained. It was the first death in six years.

"Initial investigations indicate that the Sri Lanka navy is not involved in this alleged incident," the Sri Lankan foreign ministry said in a statement. 

"If in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern and all possible action will be taken, in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities, to investigate into this incident."

The latest incident is the worst since two Indian fishermen were shot dead in Sri Lankan waters in January 2011.

It has triggered protests in the Indian coastal town of Rameswaram where the victim was from.

India and Sri Lanka are separated by the narrow Palk Strait, which is a rich fishing ground. 

Sri Lanka's navy says it has seized 46 Indian trawlers in the island's territorial waters this year, along with 85 crew members who have been detained for prosecution by local authorities.

In 2014 Sri Lanka passed the death penalty on five Indian fishermen convicted of drug smuggling, but they were later released to Indian custody.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Mart 2017, 17:10