LTTE killed, abducted Indian fishermen
12 Indian fishermen in LTTE custody - Tamil Nadu
INDIA: Tamil Nadu Police disclosed that the 12 fishermen reported to
be missing since March 4 are still in the custody of the Liberation
Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). They were not convinced by the LTTE’s
The Tamil Nadu Police Chief D. Mukherjee speaking to Asian Tribune
told that LTTE’s ‘denial was not a strong and convincing one”.
The Tamil Nadu Police chief said that LTTE also has told that they
will check it up with their formations. He added he is waiting for their
Mukherjee added: “I have already informed my Government (Tamil Nadu
State Government) to take up the matter with the centre.”
He according to the statement made by Bony Bass, one of the six Sea
Tigers captured by the Indian Coast Guard, the 12 abducted fishermen are
still in the custody of the LTTE.
Earlier the Indian Coast Guard intercepted and captured the vessel
‘Maria’ when it was found drifting in the Indian waters on April 11 and
arrested its crew of Indian and Sri Lankan nationalities.
The Sri Lankans arrested in the vessel ‘Maria’ were Robinson, Bony
Bass, Arul, Selvakumar, Ravikumar and Gnanathas.
They were transferred to Tamil Nadu police custody on April 20 and
the matter was investigated afresh by ‘Q’ Branch CID, a unit of the
state police that specializes in extremist-related violence. After
sustained interrogation, it found that all six were members of the Sea
The investigation revealed that Robinson was the group leader of the
six member Sea Tiger unit arrested in the Tiger vessel ‘Maria,’ and Bony
Bass the deputy.
According to Mukherjee, the Tigers were transferring arms and
ammunition from one of their vessels to smaller boats to be taken ashore
when it developed engine trouble and began drifting towards Indian
Some Indian fishermen came across the Sea Tigers, who jettisoned
their cargo into the sea and sought the fishermen’s help. In the
meantime, a Coast Guard ship in the vicinity spotted the Tiger vessel
In the beginning the arrested Sea Tigers accepted that they were Sri
Lankan Tamils. But during the investigation by the Q Branch Police they
confessed the truth.
The Sea Tigers admitted under questioning that the same vessel
‘Maria’ was involved in the March 29 firing, but that the killers were
They revealed that prior to the shooting incident, 12 Indian
fishermen had been abducted along with their boat by the Sea Tigers on
March 4. The Indian craft had put out to sea from Sakthikulankeni in
Kollam district of Kerala on March 4, and men are still missing.
During the investigation Bony Bass admitted that his colleague
Thirimeni from the Kokkupidichan LTTE camp located inside Arippu, Mannar
told when he contacted him over a satellite phone that the abducted
Indians were safe.
In the meantime Robinson said that he has requested his colleagues to
free those Indian fishermen without any harassment. It was the Sea Tiger
Group led by Manaalan that was involved in the shooting down of the four
Indian fishermen, Robinson said.
According to Tamil Nadu Police Chief, Q branch police allowed
Robinson and Bony Bass to contact the Kokkupidichan LTTE camp.
Then it was confirmed that the 12 Indian fishermen are in that LTTE
The shooting and abducting of the Indian fishermen has become a
serious issue and the LTTE leadership summoned Manaalan and questioned
‘Asian Tribune’ learnt that the Tiger leadership wanted to release
the 12 abducted Indian Fishermen and end this issue.
But according to some reliable sources, some have advised the Tigers
in case they release these fishermen, they may lose the support base in
the Tamil Nadu.