Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday hit out at the Centre's inaction on the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy and urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to personally take up the matter with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa without any further delay.
On Wednesday, the Sri Lankan navy attempted to abduct and apprehend 47 boats and about 325 fishermen from Nagapattinam district, while they were fishing off Akkaraipettai coast near Nagapattinam. While 32 boats with 215 fishermen returned, it is said 110 fishermen were taken to Trincomalee for further legal action. In addition, 30 fishermen in eight boats from Pudukottai district were apprehended by the island nation on Wednesday.
Expressing strong protests against the 'largest and most outrageous acts' of mass abduction of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy, Jayalalithaa said such brazen and warlike acts could not have been carried out without the tacit approval of the Sri Lankan government. "India's prestige and image has suffered grievous damage. The entire fishing community in Tamil Nadu has lost its faith in the ability of the Centre to protect the lives and livelihood of innocent fishermen in the high seas," she said and demanded the PM summon the Sri Lankan high commissioner in New Delhi to lodge a strong protest.
DMK chief M Karunanidhi too expressed concern over the frequent arrests, attacks on Indian fishermen and damage to their boats in high seas. "The livelihood of fishermen has become uncertain due to the inaction of the Centre and state government," Karunanidhi said in a party release. TNCC president B S Gnanadesikan said the Tamil Nadu government must fix the dates for talks between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen as it had earlier said it would facilitate the interaction in Chennai in December. (Source: Times of India)