TN fisherman killed in Lankan firing, CM seeks firm action

Chennai, Jan 13 (PTI) In a fresh incident of attack onTamil Nadu fishermen in Palk Straits, one person was killedwhen Sri Lankan Navy allegedly opened fire, triggering ademand from Chief Minister M Karunanidhi for Prime Minister''sintervention to end "atrocities" of the island Navy.

Three fishermen, who put out to sea from Jagadapattinnamnear Pudukottai yesterday, came under indiscriminate firingfrom Sri Lankan Navymen when they were fishing about 14nautical miles off the hamlet, fisheries officials said.

While one of them died on the spot, the other twoescaped, they said. As the incident found an echo in the stateAssembly today the government said it had taken up the issuewith the Centre and demanded strong action.

Karunanidhi, whose DMK is a key UPA ally, sent a telegramto Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, stating that the atrocitiesof Sri Lankan Navy on the fishermen were continuing unabateddespite repeated assurances given by the Indian and Sri LankanGovernments that such incidents would not recur.

He said yesterday''s incident should be taken up with SriLanka for immediate action against those responsible for it.

In the Assembly, Karunanidhi''s son and Deputy ChiefMinister M K Stalin said, "We have been taking up the issuetime and again with the Centre, which in turn had been takingit up with the Sri Lankan Government."

He was responding to points raised by opposition members,including AIADMK and Congress, who sought to raise the issuethrough a special mention during Zero Hour.

Stalin said the kin of the victim has been given acompensation of Rs five lakh.

D Jayakumar (AIADMK) slammed DMK for the "continuedkilling" of state fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy in the pastfour years and asked "whether the state government will juststop with writing letters to Centre or would take any action."

Incidents of Tamil Nadu fishermen being attackedallegedly by Sri Lankan Naval personnel and fishermen overtrans-border fishing has been an issue in the state for long.

The Centre has been maintaining that the firing incidentshad come down since the October 2008 bilateral understandingbetween the two countries but cautioned Tamil Nadu fishermennot to cross India''s maritime boundary, especially in thoseareas designated as "sensitive" by Sri Lanka.

At the fishermen level too, attempts were made to sortout the issue when a delegation of Tamil Nadu fishermenrecently visited Sri Lanka and held talks with theircounterparts and officials to avoid the conflict in the seas.


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