Insists on scrapping of 1974 Indo-Sri Lankan pact on Katchatheevu

A public interest litigation petition has been filed in the Madras High Court Bench here seeking a direction to the Centre to provide surveillance by the Navy as well as the Air Force along the Indo-Sri Lankan maritime border besides deputing Coast Guard personnel to travel with Indian fishermen who venture into the sea.

The petition filed by advocate B. Stalin, through his counsel W. Peter Rameshkumar, also sought for a direction to the Centre for scrapping the 1974 Indo-Sri Lankan accord on Katchatheevu island and approach the International Court of Justice claiming damages from Sri Lankan Navy for killing hundreds of Indian fishermen on charges of fishing beyond the maritime border.

Inaction alleged

The petitioner claimed that the Centre and the State government had not taken deterrent action against the island nation despite the loss of many lives at sea.

On the other hand, Rs.6.21 crore was spent for conducting 27 out of the 37 one-day international cricket matches conducted in India as part of the World Cup tournament held recently in the sub-continent.

“The Tamil Nadu government has granted an amount of Rs.3 crore to the victorious Indian cricket team, which won the World Cup on April 2. Further, Rs.1 crore has been gifted to Tamil Nadu cricketer R. Ashwin, who did not even play the final match. On the other hand, the families of Tamil fishermen have received Rs.3 lakh or less for each death, which is highly deplorable.

“Even after years of the ethnic conflict ending in Sri Lanka, killing of innocent Tamil fishermen has gone unabated and with ruthlessness,” the petitioner's affidavit read.