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Indian High Court urged to dismiss plea to extradite accused from Lanka

(UDHAYAM, MADURAI) – Rameswaram Police have urged the Madras High Court Bench here to dismiss a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) petition seeking a direction to the Central and State Governments to extradite Sri Lankan Navy personnel who had allegedly shot dead 21-year-old fisherman K. Britjo on the high seas on March 6.

In a status report filed before a Division Bench of Justices A. Selvam and N. Authinathan, the Inspector of Police, Rameswaram Temple Circle, said the investigators were yet to ascertain whether the incident took place in the Indian waters, and therefore the petition must be dismissed.

According to the Inspector, Mandapam Marine Police registered a First Information Report with respect to the incident on the basis of a complaint lodged by another fisherman, Arul Glinton. According to the complainant, they were shot at by Sri Lankan Navy while fishing near Adam’s bridge, about 10 nautical miles away from Rameswaram.

While Mr. Glinton and three other fishermen escaped, Britjo suffered a bullet injury and succumbed. The post-mortem report stated that Britjo appeared to have died due to a gunshot. Meanwhile, the Police examined 21 witnesses and they claimed that the incident had occurred in Indian waters.

However, in order to find out the precise location of the incident, the Police recovered a Global Positioning System (GPS) device from the fishermen’s boat and forwarded it to the Director of Forensic Science Department in Chennai on March 10. The forensic science department returned the device stating that it could not obtain the required details.

Subsequently, the GPS device was sent to Coast Guard Region (East) in Chennai on April 16, and efforts were on to find the exact scene of occurrence, the Inspector said.

The Inspector also said an officer in the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police had taken over the investigation on Tuesday.

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