The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) would take up the issue of attacks on Indian fishermen in the Parliament “effectively” and would assure that no such attacks were repeated in the future. “I would take them up as attacks on ‘Indian’ fishermen and not as Tamil fishermen. Since, there is no BJP MP from the State in the Lok Sabha, I would represent you,” Sushma Swaraj, leader of Opposition, said here during her interaction with the fisherfolk on the issue of alleged Sri Lankan Naval attacks dogging the community for over a fortnight.
The BJP leader was here, at Pushpavanam on Friday, to meet with the family of Jayakumar, the fisherman, killed in an alleged Sri Lankan Naval attack a fortnight ago.
The revival of the “non-functional” Indo-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group should sort out all issues “on a daily basis” including the role of the Indian Navy in protecting the fisherfolk, Ms. Swaraj briefed them on her meeting with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.
“Our demand for JPC stands,” said Ms.Swaraj on the course of action, post-arrest of the former Telecom Minister A. Raja. An all-party meeting has been convened by Pranab Mukherjee for February 8, to discuss the stand-off.
On the possibilities for a probable alliance with the AIADMK in the State for the coming Assembly elections, Ms. Swaraj said there was no question for it. “We will go it alone.”
To the increasing demands for retrieval of Katchatheevu as a solution, Ms. Swaraj stated that she has received all documents relating to the facts about Katchatheevu. They would be placed at the Party's core group and a “cogent view” would be arrived at.
A solatium of Rs. 2 lakh was handed over to the family of the victim, and announced that Rs. 2 lakh would be handed over the Party’s State President for the family of Nagapattinam-based fisherman Pandian, shot dead allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy, on January 11 off Jagadhapattinam.