CM urges PM to protect lives of Indian fishermen

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Chennai, Jun 24 (UNI) Expressing concern over the frequent attacks on Indian fishermen by the Lankan navy in high seas, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take steps to protect their lives and ensure their livelihoods.

In a demi official letter to the Prime Minister, a copy of which was released to the media here, he said considering the serious nature of the issue and the agony caused to the fishermen of Tamil Nadu, the Indian Government should tell its Sri Lankan counterpart in clear terms about the legitimate rights of India on the issue.

He also wanted the Centre to ensure that the rights and privileges of the Indian fishermen to carry on their normal occupation of fishing in the waters of Katchatheevu must be recognised and restored.

Recalling the earlier letters sent by the State Government on August 17, 2006 and his personal letter to the Prime Minister on September 22, 2006, Mr Karunanidhi wanted the Centre to resolve the long pending issue of restoring traditional fishing rights of Indian fishermen in Katchatheevu.

He said the arrests and incidents of arbitrary shooting on Indian fishermen continued unabated. These incidents have terrorised the fishermen and had caused deep anguish to him and to the people of the State.

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