Fishermen associations Rameswaram today criticised External Affairs Minister S M Krishna's statement that no Indian fisherman was in Sri Lankan custody, saying five of their community had been detained by Colombo since last year on 'false' charges of drug smuggling and demanded steps to secure their release.
Referring to Krishna's statement in the Rajya Sabha last week, leaders of the associations claimed Sri Lankan Navy had arrested five fishermen from Tamil Nadu on November 28 last year on the 'false' allegations of drug smuggling.
Krishna's statement that there was no Indian fisherman in Sri Lankan custody and only some Indian nationals were arrested on the charges of drug smuggling has shocked the fishermen here, Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association Secretary B. Seshu Raja and Mechanized Boat Fishermen Association President S. Emerit said.
They said the Indian Government should take up the issue with Colombo and ensure speedy release of the 'fishermen'.
Extending their support to the ongoing struggle against the Kudankulam Nuclear Power Project (KNPP), they said the leaders of all fishermen associations would meet here tomorrow to express their solidarity with them and decide the next course of action in this connection.
Krishna, responding to a Calling Attention Motion by V Maitreyan (AIADMK) and another member, had on September 6 said no Indian fisherman was in Sri Lankan custody and the government is engaged with the neighbouring nation to ensure that the fisherfolk carry on their livelihood safely.
"Presently, there are no Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody on fisheries related charges. However, some Indian nationals have been arrested in Sri Lankan waters on charges of smuggling narcotics and contrabands," he had said. (Out Look India)
Comments - 1
raviraj Monday, 10 September 2012 09:18 AM
some one should file a motion or RTI against this Krishna to ascertain the truth. These Congress men are living in a dream world of their own
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