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September 30, 2023

Youth dodges Sri Lankan Navy’s bullet, swims 13 km to Dhanushkodi

On Sunday, a 24-year-old Tamil man from Sri Lanka navigated the Palk Strait for nearly seven nautical miles before arriving in Dhanushkodi.

The Sri Lankan Navy opened fire on a boat carrying the guy and a family of five illegally to Tamil Nadu, prompting the man—identified as Hassan Khan alias Ajay alias Khan of Mannar district—to jump into the water. He was taken into custody by the marine police for questioning after receiving information from the fishermen. He was being questioned by senior officers from the Central Agency.

According to a senior official involved in the investigation, Khan fled Sri Lanka around three days ago in a boat that was illegally chartered by a family of five in the Mannar district. As they got closer to the fifth islet, which is located close to Arichalmunai, apprehending trouble, Khan jumped off the vessel. When the family of five reached the Mandapam shore on Friday, they were clueless about him.
The marine police were informed when Rameswaram fishermen discovered the young man swimming and took him to the shoreline.

Khan claimed that while some of his relatives were in Ramanathapuram, his parents were housed in the Puducherry refugee camp of Kuthupattu. Due to the economic crisis, he was unable to make ends meet in Sri Lanka, so he evacuated the island nation with his parents to seek work in Tamil Nadu or Puducherry. The security authorities, however, were perplexed by his assertion. They were eager to have the Sri Lankan police confirm his identity. Khan was consequently held in the Mandapam station.

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