High level DMK delegation to meet PM tomorrow

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Rameswaram, July 19 (UNI) Senior DMK leader and Tamil Nadu Local Administration Minister M K Stalin today said a high-level DMK delegation, headed by Union Minister for Shipping, Road Transport and Highways T R Baalu, would meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi tomorrow to apprise him of the ''indiscriminate attacks'' by Sri Lankan Navy on innocent Tamil Nadu fishermen.

Winding up the day-long fast, organised by the party to condemn the killing of Tamil Nadu fishermen by the Lankan Navy, this evening, Mr Stalin said the delegation would insist Dr Singh take steps to retrieve Katchatheevu Islands to put an end to the sufferings of the fishermen.

He said when the Indian Government gave the island to Sri Lanka in 1974, the Indo-Sri Lankan accord had ensured fishing rights to Indian fishermen. However, in the renewed accord, the fishing rights of Indian fishermen were restricted to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

He urged the Indian Navy and Coast Guard to intensify their patrolling along the IMBL to prevent such attacks.

Stating that more than 30 fishermen were killed by the Lankan Navy and several others sustained injuries, Mr Stalin said the party's High Level Policy Implementation Committee, which met on July 17, had urged the Prime Minister to convey India's concern to Sri Lanka in the forthcoming SAARC Summit and exert pressure on the Island nation to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Earlier, Mr Stalin handed over a cheque of Rs two lakh to the family of M Sandhiyagu (21), a fisherman hailing from Thangatchimadam in Rameswaram, who was shot dead by the Lankan Navy recently. He also handed over Rs 50,000 to Andran and Rs 20,000 to Maris, who were injured in the incident.


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