Fishermen attacked: Jaya faults Karunanidhi, Vaiko blames Centre

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Chennai, Mar 6 (UNI) The Opposition AIADMK and its ally MDMK today criticised the unprovoked firing by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel at mid-sea, in which a fisherman from Tamil Nadu was killed and another critically injured.

In a statement here, AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa held Chief Minister M Karunanidhi responsible for the continuous attacks on the innocent fishermen from the State by the Lankan Navy. The increasing attacks have put a question mark on the livelihood of the fishermen, she added.

She said Kachatheevu was handed over to the island nation when Mr Karunanidhi was at the helm of affairs in 1974, thereby denying the rights of Tamil Nadu at the international level. ''This is nothing new for Mr Karunanidhi as his Government had withdrawn the case against Karnataka in the Cauvery Water Disputes Tribunal in 1971 and had failed to renew the Cauvery water sharing agreement in 1974,'' she claimed.

Stating that she had reiterated that Katchatheevu should be taken on lease in perpetuity, Ms Jayalalithaa said the Centre had not paid heed to the demand.

Accusing the State Government of siding with terrorists, leading to deterioration in the law and order situation, she asked Mr Karunanidhi to work for protecting the rights of Tamils, without thinking about furthering his self and political interests.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a copy of which was released to the media here, MDMK General Secretary Vaiko accused the Union Government of deliberately failing in its duty to protect the lives of Indian fishermen and urged him to take immediate measures to protect fishermen and warn the Lankan Government against such attacks.

He charged the Indian Navy with operating hand in glove with the Lankan Navy against Tamil Nadu fishermen and termed it ''unpardonable''.

UNI GD AKJ KP1505

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