Chief Minister announces solatium of Rs. 5 lakh

A fisherman from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu was allegedly killed by the Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday night. The victim, 28-year-old N. Jayakumar, was from Pushpavanam fishing hamlet in Vedaranyam in Nagapattinam district.

Taking a serious view of the “killing of the two Tamil fishermen in 10 days” by the Sri Lankan Navy, Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Sunday assured Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi that the Centre would take up the issue with the Sri Lankan authorities.

On January 12, Veerapandian, a fisherman from Nagapattinam, was shot dead by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The island nation has denied involvement in the incident.

The killing of fishermen came up for discussion when Mr Mukherjee met Mr Karunanidhi at his Gopalapuram residence here on Sunday morning. Talking to reporters after the meeting, Mr Mukherjee said the Chief Minister was worried and anxious about the developments.

“I am told two fishermen have been killed in the last 10 days. There is no point or justification for shooting at the fishermen. If the fishermen had done anything wrong they could have been arrested and due process could be followed for resolving the issue,” he said.

Pointing out that India had good relations with Sri Lanka and was helping the country, the Finance Minister said he would take it up with the Sri Lankan authorities through the Ministry of External Affairs. The Chief Minister announced a solatium of Rs. five lakh to the family of the latest victim.

Our New Delhi correspondent adds:

New Delhi on Sunday condemned the killing, and called on Colombo to investigate the matter and ensure that it does not recur.

External Affairs Minister S.M.Krishna said that such killings were “unacceptable” and directed the Indian mission to submit a report.

The fisherman was killed on Saturday night while fishing off the Kodiakarai coast. Two others were injured.

The External Affairs Minister expressed the government's “strong and unequivocal condemnation” of the incident .

Mr. Krishna is expected to discuss the issue with his Sri Lankan counterpart G.L.Peiris.

PTI adds:

Sri Lanka rejected as “baseless” the allegation that its military had killed an Indian fisherman and wounded two others.

These “allegations are baseless and without proof,” Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Captain Athula Senarth said.

“We have given strict instructions to our naval patrols and we ensure that these instructions are carried out,” Senarth told reporters.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National | News