Chidambaram to see if any Indian fishermen shot by Sri Lankan Navy

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New Delhi, July 14 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Tuesday assured the Parliament that he would look into reports of shooting of Indian fishermen off the coast of Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Responding to the question in Lok Sabha, Chidambaram informed the Parliament India and Sri Lanka reached an understanding in January 2009 over the issue of fishermen crossing over to each-other's territorial waters.

However if any fisherman had been shot after that, then he would certainly look into it, he added.

"It would not be appropriate to disclose exact measures of surveillance. The point I wish to make is yes it was a problem. Sri Lankan Navy was shooting at Indian fishermen fishing off the Tamil Nadu coast some of them lost their lives but I think some arrangements were put in place in January this year, since then subjected to correction. I think nobody has been shot, they are arrested that I conceded earlier. And, then there is an arrangement by which we secure their release. But if there has been an incident of shooting of any Indian fishermen off Tamil Nadu coast after January, I may be wrong, I am not aware of it, please bring it to my notice and I will certainly look into it."

Chidambaram also said that Indian Navy has been designated as the authority responsible for overall maritime security. He informed that a coastal command would be created but there has been no proposal to set up maritime security advisory board.

"The Indian Navy has been designated as an authority responsible for overall maritime security. The Indian Navy will be assisted with coast guards, the State marine police and other agencies. A coastal command will be created and the director general coast guard will be designated as the commander of the coastal command. These are the decisions that were being taken. The implementation of the decisions rests with the Ministry of Defence. To the best of my knowledge there is no proposal to set up a maritime security advisory board."

To strengthen the coastal security apparatus, India had set up a high- level committee headed by Cabinet Secretary K. M. Chandrasekhar as a part of measures taken by the government following the Mumbai attacks.

India has already boosted coastal security with the Indian Navy and the Coast Guard carrying out coordination patrols.

The Mumbai attackers are said to have come to the city by sea from the Pakistani port of Karachi, according to security officials. (ANI)

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