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In a 5 November talks both India and Sri Lanka agreed to the request by the fishermen’s associations that there would be no violence and no loss of life in the handling of fishermen by the Navies and Coast Guards of the two countries. Photo: Mint
In a 5 November talks both India and Sri Lanka agreed to the request by the fishermen’s associations that there would be no violence and no loss of life in the handling of fishermen by the Navies and Coast Guards of the two countries. Photo: Mint

Tamil Nadu political parties demand action over injured fishermen

Two fishermen from the state were injured in alleged firing by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing 8km south-east off Kodiakarai, Nagapattinam district in the Indian Ocean region

Chennai: Political parties in Tamil Nadu on Thursday urged the central government to take action after two fishermen from the state were injured in alleged firing by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The fishermen were identified by Tamil News channel Puthiyathalaimurai as Dinesh alias Balamurugan from Karaikal and Aravind from Nambiar Nagar in Nagapattinam. They were part of a group of fishermen when they were allegedly fired at in the early hours on Wednesday while fishing 8km south-east off Kodiakarai, Nagapattinam district in the Indian Ocean region. The two fishermen were hospitalized in Puducherry.

Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (MDMK) general secretary Vaiko alleged the Sri Lankan Navy attacked the fishermen by entering the Indian maritime boundary. Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK) leader Anbumani Ramadoss also questioned why the Sri Lankan navy had opened fire when the fishermen had not entered Sri Lankan waters. “It appears that the attack has been done by the Sri Lankan Navy to wreck the efforts by two countries to resolve fishermen’s problem," said Ramadoss.

The development comes less than two weeks after ministerial-level talks were held between India and Sri Lanka in New Delhi.

U. Arulanantham, president of Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF) said there is nothing that comes out of such meetings. “After every high-level delegation meeting, the governments would agree to avoid violence in dealing with fishermen. And, immediately after few days, an arrest or a firing like this would follow and we have been a witness to this for over 30 years," said Arulanantham.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and minister of agriculture and farmers welfare Radha Mohan Singh met with the Sri Lankan minister for foreign affairs Mangala Samaraweera and minister for fisheries and aquatic resources development Mahinda Amaraweera of Sri Lanka, on 5 November. Both governments agreed to the request by the fishermen’s associations that there would be no violence and no loss of life in the handling of fishermen by the Navies and Coast Guards of the two countries.

“They agreed on the setting up of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on fisheries to meet every three months and a meeting between the ministers for fisheries every six months," a release from the external affairs ministry had said.

Earlier this week, acting on a tip-off from the Sri Lankan Navy, an Indian naval patrol team intercepted a fibreglass boat with two armed men and chased them away when they tried to enter Indian territorial waters, PTI reported.

“Governments have changed over the years. But the scene, out in the middle of the sea remains the same," added Arulanantham.

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