Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday said the Centre should press Sri Lanka to abide by the Indo-Sri Lanka accord of 2008 and desist from attacking Indian fishermen who stray into their waters.
In his address at the conference of Chief Ministers on Internal Security here, he also condemned the recent killing of two Tamil Nadu fishermen allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy.
“The Sri Lankan Government should abide by the Indo-Sri Lanka joint statement on fishing arrangements (which) categorically states that there shall be no firing on Indian fishermen,” Mr. Karunanidhi said.
Fishermen who cross International borders unwittingly and apprehended by other neighbouring countries in the West and East are not subjected to physical harm. “But Indian fishermen who cross the International Maritime border off Sri Lanka are repeatedly subjected to physical harm, harassment and at times get killed,” he said.
The Sri Lankan Government must be asked to follow the due procedure of law as India does in the case of Sri Lankan fishermen who cross into Indian waters, Mr. Karunanidhi said.
He however thanked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for deputing Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to Colombo to take up the issue with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse.
At the CMs’ meet on internal security, Mr. Karunanidhi said the coastal waters of South India needs to paid some attention through resources and personnel just as the land borders in North, West and East are being attended to.
“The threat to security of the nation from coast has manifested earlier with ominous implications. It is requested that our demand for more vessels, police stations and manpower and better air surveillance capabilities may be considered favourably,” he said.
Mr. Karunanidhi also said the threat to security of the nation through cyber space must receive equal attention.
“Day in and day out, cyber space is being used by criminals to cheat gullible and innocent citizens causing loss of money and harassment. A comprehensive strategy on behalf of Government of India on this is called for,” he said.
He lauded the “meticulous and proactive approach” of Home Minister P Chidambaram and the guidance of Manmohan Singh, “which has seen us through the year 2010 without any major incident affecting the internal security of our country.”
The Tamil Nadu Police has successfully prevented attempts of left wing extremist elements to start training camps in three forest areas some time back and has also arrested members of these organisations absconding for several years, he said.