Jaya threatens massive agitation on fishermen issue

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Chennai, Jul 5 (UNI) AIADMK General Secretary J Jayalalithaa today threatened to organise a massive agitaion if the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre and the DMK government in Tamil Nadu failed to find a lasting solution to the problems posed by the Sri Lankan Navy for the Indian fishermen.

In a statement here, she flayed the DMK government for allegedly failing to take any action to end the problem, while being the ruling party in the state and a key constituent of the coalition government at the Centre.

Condemning the detention of more than 1,600 fishermen from Rameswaram by the Lankan Navy, Ms Jayalalithaa said Chief Minister M Karunanidhi, instead of writing to the Centre or telephoning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, should serve an ultimatum to the Union government to find a solution to the problem.

Like it had threatened to withdraw from the Ministry when some portfolios were not allotted to it, the DMK should tell the UPA government that the party would withdraw support or at least recall its Ministers, if the Centre failed to find a solution to the problem, she said.

After a 45-day-lay off, the fishermen resumed work recently but were constantly facing problems posed by the Lankan forces.

On July 2, more than 1,600 fishermen, who had set out for fishing in 600 mechanised boats, were captured by the Lankan Navy, she alleged.

The Naval personnel had released them after severely beating them up, the AIADMK leader claimed.

Condemning the Lankan Navy's continued atrocities, fishermen in Rameswaram had launched an indefinite strike and announced a massive agitation for July 10 at Pamban, she said.

Three fishermen who had set out for fishing on June 27 from Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam District, were still missing, Ms Jayalalithaa said and demanded the Union and state governments take steps to secure the fishermen, if they were arrested by the Lankan Navy.

UNI WS GM SKB HT1645

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