HC reserves order on petition to give protection to fishermen

Chennai, Feb 14 (PTI) The Madras High Court today reservedorders on a Public Interest Litigation seeking a direction tothe Union Government to give adequate protection to fishermenof Tamil Nadu "who enjoy traditional fishing rights in thewaters between India and Sri Lanka."

According to the petitioner, Fisherman Care, traditionalfishing rights is guaranteed in the 1974 agreement betweenIndia and Sri Lanka. It contended that since 1983 there hadbeen reports of several instances of firing by Sri Lankannaval personnel against fishermen of Tamil Nadu and theirfishing equipment destroyed.

No permanent solution has so far been evolved, either bygovernments or the international forum to settle the issue,the petitioner said.

Fishermen Care also sought constitution of a committeeunder chairmanship of a High Court judge to enquire into the''negligence'' and ''failure'' of the Coast Guard at Mandapam toprevent alleged human rights violations by Sri Lankan Navyagainst fishermen of Tamil Nadu 1983.

When the matter came up today, the First Bench, comprisingChief Justice M Y Eqbal and Justice T S Sivagnanam, reservedorders after hearing submission by the petitioner�s counsel.

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