Will take steps to secure release of fishermen: CG

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Rameswaram (TN), Feb 16 (PTI) The coastguard will takesteps to secure the release of 106 fishermen, allegedlyabducted by Sri Lankan fishermen and reportedly handed over toLankan authorities, a top official said today.

Coastguard personnel and Sri Lankan Navi officials holdgoodwill talks every six months, Inspector General S P Sharma,Commander Coastguard (East), told reporters here.

Sharma, who had also been instrumental in addressing theissue of Tamil Nadu fishermen at international forums when hewas Director of Operations (Coastguard) at Delhi, hoped thatthe fishermen''s problem would be resolved amicably.

The fishermen, belonging to three hamlets in Nagapattinamdistrict, were abducted yesterday.

He said coastguard ships and hovercrafts had now beenprovided with latest equipment that could accurately monitorthe sea and supervise border areas.

About 12,000 Lankan Tamil refugees had come to thecountry between 2006 and 2009, he said.

A new jetty would come up at Karaikal and Puducherry foruse by the coastguard, he said, adding that new ships werebeing built and electronic equipment was being used to monitorintrusion accurately.

Sharma said the coastguard was giving priority andimportance to its station at Mandapam near here in view of itsstrategic location on the tip of Tamil Nadu.

"As the international maritime border line is close by,the station here is being given all the importance required,"said the Commander, who visited the coastguard station hereyesterday.

Today he reviewed the preparedness and took stock of theprevailing security situation in the Palk Bay and Gulf ofMannar.

Operational capabilities and readiness of the coastguardand security measures were also reviewed and he interactedwith officers and personnel of the Coastguard.

He also went around the sea off Rameswaram coast and heldtalks with the officials at Uchipuli Naval base.

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