Political leaders in Tamil Nadu have demanded immediate action on the part of the Central and State governments to protect fishermen, especially from Sri Lankan forces, following the arrest of 23 fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on Monday.

Pattali Makkal Katchi leader S.Ramadoss has urged the State government to provide armed police escort to fishermen while going out to sea. He wanted the Central government to warn Sri Lanka that any such pain inflicted on Indian fishermen would lead to serious consequences.

He pointed out that during 2011 alone six Tamil Nadu fishermen were killed by the Sri Lankan Navy. But the Indian government had done nothing. “The Central Government stops with just seeking explanation (from Sri Lanka) every time the fishermen are killed”, he alleged.

This had led the Sri Lankan forces to believe that India would not respond whatever was done to fishermen from Tamil Nadu.

“Unless such a situation changes, the distress of the Tamil Nadu fishermen also won't change,” he asserted.

Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.V.Thangkabalu has appealed to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to get the 23 fishermen, apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy, released.

He pointed out that several top people of the Indian Government, including the Prime Minister, former External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and current Foreign Minister S.M.Krishna had spoken to Sri Lankan President Rajapaksa requesting him that Indian fishermen should not be put to any hardship by the Sri Lankan Navy. And the latter had promised to do the needful.

Keywords: fishermen issue