SC tells TN fishermen to approach competent authorities

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New Delhi, May 15 (UNI) The Supreme Court today told Tamil Nadu Coastal Mechanised Boat Fishermen Welfare Association to approach the Director General (DG) Coast Guards or the External Affairs Ministry for the safety of Indian fishermen who are being indiscriminately killed by Sri Lankan Navy for venturing into the sea.

A bench comprising Chief Justices K G Balakrishnan and M K Sharma while refusing to entertain the PIL told the petitioner,''we can not give blanket direction to the government to ensure the safety of Indian fishermen but it will be open to the petitioner to approach the competent authorities namely DG Coast Guards or External Affairs Ministry for the necessary relief.'' Counsel for the petitioner informed the court that on March 8 this year, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh explaining that the situation was becoming alarming day by day and requested the Union Government for necessary action to protect the Indian fishermen.

So far over 300 fishermen have been killed by the Sri Lankan Navy and more than 2000 are under the illegal detention of the navy.

The apex court permitted the petitioner to withdraw its petition and dismissed the same as withdrawn UNI SC ARB RP ND1704

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