TN fishermen protest against Sri Lankan Navy excesses


Chennai, Dec 20 : Fishermen of Rameshwaram and Mandapam in Tamil Nadu on Monday staged protests in their respective towns after fellow fishermen from the state were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy. M. Arogyasami, General secretary of, Fishermen welfare association of Tamil Nadu told IANS: "Indian fishermen are targeted by the Sri Lankan Navy at Katchatheevu and other areas near to the international waters. Most of these fishermen who face the brunt of attacks and stone-pelting by the Sri Lankans are fishermen from Tamil Nadu who voyages into the sea for a living. Government has to take stringent action, otherwise, things will go out of control." Notably, a fisherman from Ramanathapuram district, Rajkiran died after the Sri Lankan navy vessel rammed into the boat on which he along with the two others were fishing near Katchatheevu. While the Sri Lankan Navy claimed that the fisherman fell into water while trying to escape from the Sri Lankan side of the international waters, fishermen who were with him in and around in the sea said that he died after the Sri Lankan naval vessel rammed into his boat and he fell and drowned. After 55 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested and six of their boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday, the fishermen in the state are protesting at the Ramanathapuram main highway as well as at Mandapam and Rameswaram against the Sri Lankan Navy excesses. K. Selvaraj, state secretary of Ramanathapuram fishermen association, while speaking to IANS said: "There is real uncertainty in the area and we are going into the sea for a living. More than nineteen such incidents have taken place in and around Katchatheevu within the past year and we cannot tolerate this anymore. We are grateful that the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister has written a letter to the Union External Affairs Minister and later spoken to him regarding the recent arrest of 55 fishermen from Tamil Nadu. Government has to stop this problem once and for all." Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has on Sunday wrote a letter to the Union External Affairs Minister S. Jayashankar on the same and wanted high-level intervention from the Union government against the Sri Lankan Navy personnel attacking Indian fishermen especially those from Tamil Nadu. Fishermen associations of Tamil Nadu are planning to file an appeal before Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his likely visit to the state on January 12. The fishermen association leaders are of the opinion that a high-level intervention at the level of the Prime Minister is necessary at this juncture to prevent the fishermen from being attacked regularly and their materials being seized. /IANS


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