India on Thursday lodged a strong protest with Sri Lanka over the death of three Indian fishermen in a collision between their vessel and a naval craft of the island nation, and said steps should be taken to ensure that such incidents do not recur. The Ministry of External Affairs said a strong demarche was made to Sri Lanka's Acting High Commissioner here while the Indian envoy in Colombo also lodged a protest with the country's foreign ministry.
"We are shocked at the unfortunate loss of lives of three Indian fishermen and one Sri Lankan national following a collision between their vessel and a Sri Lankan naval craft," the MEA said in a statement.
The fishermen were from Tamil Nadu and they had set out for fishing on January 18.
"Our strong protest in regard to this incident was conveyed by our High Commissioner to the Sri Lankan Foreign Minister today," the statement said.
It further said, "A strong demarche was also made to the Sri Lankan Acting High Commissioner in New Delhi."
The MEA said India expressed "deep anguish" over the incident and emphasised the need to deal with issues pertaining to fishermen in a humanitarian manner.
"Existing understandings between the two governments in that regard must be strictly observed. Utmost efforts should be made to ensure that there is no recurrence," it said.