Joint patrolling by India,S Lanka can end attacks on fishermen

Chennai, Feb 7 (PTI): Expressing concern over continuedattacks on Indian fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy,Congress today favoured joint patrolling by the navies of bothnations to address the issue.

''We are equally concerned about this issue and condemn thekillings,'' Congress member and party whip in the Tamil NaduAssembly, S Peter Alphonse said.

Participating in the debate on interim budget, he said378 fishermen have so far been killed in attacks.

His remarks come at a time when the Congress-led UPA hasbeen charged by opposition parties with failing to have put anend to continued attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly bythe Sri Lankan navy.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister ManmohanSingh are taking steps to address the issue, Alphonse saidadding joint patrolling would prove effective in ending theattacks, especially after the ''decimation'' of LTTE in 2009.

Last month,two fishermen were killed in attacks allegedlyby the island nation''s navy, a charge denied by the latter.

Alphonse also demanded that the Tamil Nadu governmentspell out seperate policies for various natural resources tocurb their ''indiscriminate use,'' especially duringdevelopmental activities.

For instance, fertile farm lands were being converted intoreal estate plots, he said, adding natural resources need tobe conserved.

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