Reported by Vishwanath Kumar
Kendrapara, Dec 9:
A fisherman was injured when Coast Guard personnel opened fire at a group of trawlers, which had sneaked into the Gahirmatha marine sanctuary last night, police said today.
The injured person has been identified as Ranjit Patra (36), a native of Jaydurgapatana near Dhamra in Bhadrak district.
“The injured person was a crew member of a trawler, which had intruded into prohibited sea waters. He has been shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital,” Kendrapara Superintendent of Police (SP) Satish Kumar Gajabhviye said.
The incident had occurred in the Gahirmatha coast when a Coast Guard ship on a coastal patrol sighted about 12 sea-worthy vessels at about 9 PM yesterday.
“The coast guard personnel asked the crew of the vessels to surrender, but they did not pay any heed to the warning and tried to flee. There was resistance from the trawl operators. Coast Guard personnel struck back by opening fire, resulting in injury caused to Patra,” Gajabhiye said quoting Coast Guard personnel.
While eight marine fishermen have been arrested on the charge of carrying out illegal fishing in the prohibited Gahirmatha marine sanctuary, police are conducting separate investigation into the shootout incident, he added.
The marine fishermen broke the law by intruding into the prohibited breeding zones of endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles and were arrested under the relevant legal provisions, sources sai