Ensure early release of fishermen, Jaya tells PM
By Express News Service - CHENNAI
24th July 2012 08:09 AM
Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Monday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take urgent steps to rescue the 23 fishermen from Rameswaram, who were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday, along with their five boats. “Unless the Centre intervenes in the issue, there is every possibility of recurrence of such incidents in the coming months,” the CM said in her letter to the PM.
Pointing out that the current detention of Tamil Nadu fishermen was the second incident within a fortnight, the CM said the fishermen were arrested by the Lankan Navy when they were fishing in their traditional waters off Katchatheevu. She said the incidents of apprehension and harassment by the Lankan Navy have become regular in the past two months, especially after the end of the fishing ban period.
Jayalalithaa further said the intention of the Lankan Navy to instil fear in the minds of the fishermen and prevent them from fishing in their traditional waters was very obvious.
“The actions of the Lankan Navy had created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of the fishermen, who feel that there is no guarantee for their life and property in the sea, in the prevailing situation,” she added.
The CM also pointed out that the Lankan Navy temporarily suspends apprehension and harassment only when diplomatic-level meetings were convened between India and Sri Lanka on the fishing issue and resumes it immediately thereafter, much to the woe of the Tamil Nadu fishermen.
She further said the fishermen of the districts adjoining Palk Bay, especially from the Rameswaram area, had been targeted by the Lankan Navy, making it impossible for them to fish, which was the only occupation they know for the sustenance of their livelihood.
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