Very much concerned over plight of Indian fishermen: Antony

New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Defence Minister A K Antony todaysaid the government is concerned over reports about Sri LankanNavy firing at Indian fishermen and will do "everythingpossible" to protect the interests of its fisherfolk.

"Our government is very much concerned about the plightof Indian fishermen and we are constantly monitoring thedevelopment and we are taking up the issue with the Sri Lankangovernment. We will do everything possible to protect theinterests of Indian fishermen," he said.

The Minister was answering queries about the allegedabduction of 106 Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka and the recentspurt in incidents where Indian fishermen have been fired uponat by the island nation''s military.

Asked to comment on reports suggesting that the land onwhich the Adarsh society has been built did not belong to theDefence Ministry, Antony said, "from the very beginning, wehave been telling that this land is under the possession ofthe Army... nobody has disputed that. Out stand has alreadybeen conveyed to the Mumbai High Court."

Asked for his reaction on USD 1.2 billion military aid toPakistan from America, the Minister said, "We have repeatedlytold the US that even though their intention is to give aid toPakistan to fight against terrorism but our experience is thata sizable portion of this aid is used against India."

Antony said India was trying to convince the US thatthey must have a mechanism to monitor whether this aid isdiverted against it. "US is also coming to realise this...

what we have been saying," he added.

Asked if the External Affairs Ministry has not givenpermission to IAF chief Air Chief Marshal P V Naik for aforeign visit, Antony said, "Our Services chiefs go abroadregularly. If there are any procedural problems, they will besorted out." PTI AJD

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