Fishermen firing: US envoy meets foreign secretary, assures help

US ambassador Nancy Powell met foreign secretary Ranjan Mathai on Thursday and is learnt to have assured him that the US will share the inquiry report on the firing incident involving a US ship with India.

The US ship that fired at Indian fishermen off the Dubai coast, killing one and injuring three, did not warn them, Dubai police commander-in-chief was quoted as saying on Thursday.

However, even as the US has maintained that the US ship gave ample warnings to the smaller boat before opening fire on it, agencies on Thursday quoted one lieutenant-general Dhahi Khalfan Tamim in Dubai saying that the survivors had said that they were not warned.

The newspaper Khaleej Times reported that the survivors have told the police that they were trying to avoid moving towards the US naval ship instead of moving towards it.

One Indian fisherman was killed and three others were injured when a US naval vessel fired on a smaller boat carrying the fishermen off the Dubai coast on July 16. Ms Powell is also learnt to have reiterated US commitment to a full probe.

While Ms Powell’s meeting with the foreign secretary was described as a pre-scheduled one to discuss bilateral issues, the FS is learnt to have raised the issue of the firing incident and the consequent probe.

Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru on Thursday, external affairs minister S.M. Krishna said that India can come to a conclusion on the killing of its fisherman in firing only after it has got the report of India’s ambassador to the UAE on the incident.

“I am expecting a report from our ambassador. Only after seeing the report we can come to a conclusion,” Mr Krishna said.

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