South Asia

Published: Monday 30 April 2007

Fishermen shot Two people were shot dead and two others drowned in the Indian Ocean when the Sri Lankan Navy opened fire at Indian fishermen on March 29. According to the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department, the incident took place near Kalpatty off Sri Lankan waters. The fishermen were from Kanyakumari district. A rescue team was soon sent to the spot to bring back the bodies. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy has denied that its personnel were involved in any incident targeting Indian fishermen. Instead, the incident was a handiwork of LTTE to harm Indo-Lankan relations, it said.

Sunderbans on fire A devastating forest fire, the second in 10 days, broke out on March 27 in West Bengal's Sundarban mangrove forests. The fire destroyed mangrove trees over an area of 12 hectares (ha) in Napitkhali forest under Chandpai range.The fire threatened many rare species including the Royal Bengal Tiger inhabiting the forest, as all 15 wells dug in the area for water supply during emergency situation were found dry. Ill-equipped forest guards along with the local people struggled to douse the fire with water from nearby canals. The earlier fire broke out on March 19 and destroyed around 100 ha of the forest cover. Two inquiry committees have been set up to look into the forest fire.

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