Attacks on TN fishermen frequent, says Narayanasamy

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Chennai, Jan 18 (PTI) Condemning the attacks on TamilNadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, UnionMinister of State for Parliamentary Affairs V Narayanasamytoday said while India releases Sri Lankan fishermen strayinginto its waters, our fishermen are "frequently" attacked bySri Lanka.

"Fishermen from Vedaranyam and Kanyakumari generally comeunder attack and we have condemned such incidents. When SriLankan fishermen are caught (straying into Indian waters), wepardon them and release them," he said.

Speaking to reporters after calling on Chief Minister MKarunanidhi at his residence, he said incidents oftransgression by fishermen mainly occurred as the maritimeboundary was not properly visible.

"Tamil Nadu fishermen are being frequently attacked andkilled by Sri Lankan navy. The Chief Minister has written tothe Centre on this issue following which Prime MinisterManmohan Singh took up the matter with Sri Lankan PresidentMahinda Rajapakse during his Indian visit last year, askinghim to take steps to prevent recurrence of attacks," he said.

Narayanasamy said the Prime Minister had deputed ExternalAffairs Minister S M Krishna to Sri Lanka to assess reliefwork for Tamils and also discuss the fishermen issue.

In the latest in a series of attacks on Tamil Nadufishermen allegedly by the Lankan navy, a fisherman was killedand three others were injured when they were shot at by theisland republic''s navy while fishing off Jegathapattinam.

To a query on ties with DMK, the Minister said that boththe Prime Minister and Karunanidhi had earlier described therelations as "strong".

He also denied having any knowledge on cabinet reshuffle,which is likely in a week after the Prime Minister metPresident Prathiba Patil yesterday.

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