US envoy to India Nancy Powell
INDIA called on the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday (July 17) to probe the fatal shooting of an Indian fisherman by a US navy ship in waters off Dubai, the Indian foreign ministry said.
India’s ambassador to the oil-rich country “has requested UAE authorities to probe the circumstances of the tragic incident”, ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.
He added that India’s embassy in Washington was in touch with US agencies and had been promised “a full investigation”, while US ambassador to New Delhi Nancy Powell had telephoned “to convey her regret for the loss of life”.
One Indian fisherman was killed and three others were wounded on Monday (July 16) when a US navy ship opened fire on their vessel near the port of Jebel Ali in the tense waters of the southern Gulf.
US defence officials said the fishing boat had ignored warnings not to approach the refuelling ship USNS Rappahannock, and that sailors on board the American vessel feared it could pose a threat.
“Since 2000 we’ve been very concerned about small boats,” a defence official in Washington told reporters, referring to the year of a deadly suicide bomb attack against the destroyer USS Cole in the Yemeni port of Aden.
The US embassy in New Delhi issued a statement conveying “its condolences to the families of the crew” of the boat, but said they had “disregarded non-lethal warnings and rapidly approached the US ship”.
Relatives of one of the injured fishermen shot on Monday - named as Muniyaraj from Tamil Nadu - said he had gone to Dubai about 10 months ago shortly after getting married.
“I request both the central and state governments to save all of them. Please bring them back and give them good treatment,” the mother of the injured man told reporters in footage aired on local television.
She said the man was her only son and had been “badly injured on both legs”.
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