CITU national president calls for united struggle

CITU national president A.K. Padmanabhan on Monday demanded that the government offset the loss suffered by fishermen during cyclones.

“Whether it is tsunami or cyclonic storms Thane or Nilam, fishermen are advised not to venture into sea. The powers-that-be should understand how they will make both ends met without succour when they have no income,” he said.

Mr. Padmanabhan was addressing fishermen at Gandhi statue near GVMC after leading a rally from Convent Junction to mark inauguration of three-day Second National Conference of All India Fishers and Fisheries Workers’ Federation (AIFFWF).

Calling for united struggle to achieve legal status to their right to fishing, he said fishermen in coastal areas had a common problem – the threat of depriving them of their right to go to the sea due to indiscriminate allotment of lands and seacoast to corporates and big investors.

‘Common platform’

He said for the first time all the central trade unions had come on a common platform to take up issues confronting fishermen and other sections. He said all the unions would observe a general strike for 48 hours on February 20 and 21 to demand universal public distribution system, continuation of subsidies, efforts to stop marine pollution and ban FDI in retail outlets. Federation’s State unit general secretary L. Balakrishna said out of 974-long coastline in AP, the government has sold off 264 km to multinationals, Special Economic Zones and others with a vested interest ignoring the demand by fishermen not to displace them.

Secretary of AIFFWF V.V. Saseendran, district secretary Kavuri CPI (M) district secretary Ch. Narsinga Rao, reception committee chairman Pollayya and others spoke.

More In: Visakhapatnam