In a stand that may not go down well in Tamil Nadu, Indian Coast Guard (ICG) on Monday told the Madras High Court that Indian fishermen allegedly indulge in various illegal acts such as smuggling and trawling in Sri Lankan waters resulting in action by the island nation's navy.
The ICG submitted that it cannot take responsibility for the security of the fishermen if they entered Sri Lankan waters and there was confrontation between them and the Lankan Navy, the Daily News and Analysis news agency reported.
A counter-affidavit to this effect was filed by ICG Deputy Director General, K.R. Nautial on a contempt petition against officials for not "obeying" the earlier court orders on providing security for fishermen.
The stand may not go down well in the state where Sri Lanka comes under flak from politicians and government for mid-sea 'attacks' and arrests of the state's fishermen.
The affidavit said the Indian fishermen had never been attacked in Indian waters and that neither the Coast Guard nor Navy permitted any of the Sri Lankan vessels to come to Indian territory.
"After the culmination of civil war (in Sri Lanka in 2009), it is reported that Indian fishermen are resorting to smuggling contraband including drugs due to the developing relationship with their counterparts in Sri Lanka and better monetary returns for such practices," the affidavit said.
"They were also using banned methods of fishing, using high power motors, causing damage to Sri Lankan fishing gear and caught in the act of smuggling contraband and other unlawful activities like mid-sea attack between Indian fishermen and their counterparts," the coast guard said.
Besides, they (Indian fishermen) crossed International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and entered Sri Lankan waters for better catch as fisheries resources depleted in India.
This led to action by the Sri Lankan naval men. During 2014 and up to March, 2015, a total of 185 boats had been impounded and action taken against 937 crew, it said. Similarly, the Sri Lankan Navy had reported to the Indian High Commission 36,865 instances of Indian fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
The ICG had provided 280 distress alert transmitters besides giving emergency numbers to the fishermen, it said adding, however, they did not call the Coast Guard or navy in distress. Petitioner S. M. Ananthamurugan sought contempt action against the Union Cabinet Secretary and others for not obeying earlier court orders in providing security for the fishermen.
Comments - 8
Mia Tuesday, 28 April 2015 09:57 AM
Do u think smugglers should be handled by another smugglers family
V Andrew Tuesday, 28 April 2015 10:18 AM
Really? So remind us again; what did MR, the so called strong character do to sort out the situation?
Waco Tuesday, 28 April 2015 04:41 AM
MS and RW are extremely weak charactors, hence all these bro lets.
siri Tuesday, 28 April 2015 02:36 PM
Previous regime sold the entire southern sea to China with no benefit to the Country.
Hanaas Tuesday, 28 April 2015 11:54 AM
Thank you guys at ICG for bringing the truth of this fiasco. Now what the so called protectors of Indian Fishermen such as Jayalaliutha, Vico, Karunanidhi, Thirumawalawan, Ramadas, Wijekanth and all other political parties leaders who are manipulating the truth and using it for their own political profits going to do now? Will they stop now barking at the wrong tree?
Prasannajit Tuesday, 28 April 2015 12:39 PM
Did you read the text fully. It says Indian Central govt is fully supportive of SL govt and our navy. Read before you put silly comments.
Chandana Tuesday, 28 April 2015 05:59 PM
Are you delirious or part of the pro-Pakistani terrorist lobby? The article clearly says the GOI is supportive of the SL govt and the Navy. Anti-Indian/Anti-Hindu it seems is fashionable now among Colombo elite. At least learn some basic reading comprehension before commenting.
Dr Honda Hitha Tuesday, 28 April 2015 06:21 PM
Please try to understand the text before commenting.It clearly shows the type of glasses(Colour) you are wearing ..
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