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Firing at fishermen: Karunanidhi's plea

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Special Correspondent

Lists the series of recent attacks

  • Sends letter to Manmohan Singh
  • Seeks urgent action

    CHENNAI: Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Tuesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to "impress upon the Sri Lankan Government to instruct their Navy to desist from opening fire" on Tamil Nadu fishermen.

    In a letter, a copy of which was released here, Mr. Karunanidhi said the fishermen, "who solely depend on this profession for their living," were under "tremendous distress" and put to "hardship" in the past 10 days because of firing by the Sri Lankan Navy. "This is of great concern to the Government of Tamil Nadu."

    He said that on February 14, the Navy opened fire off the Nagapattinam coast on a boat carrying nine Indian fishermen. "Although no one was injured, the boat was seriously damaged and the catch... taken away by the Sri Lankan Navy."

    On February 16, the Navy destroyed two fishing boats off the Pudukottai coast. The fishermen, hailing from Iyyampattinam village, were attacked, their nets damaged and their catch taken away. "This resulted in all the fishermen jumping into the sea... to save their lives."

    On February 24, Aruldoss and three other fishermen from Ramanathapuram district were shot at while fishing off Kottaipattinam village in Pudukottai district. Mr. Aruldoss was injured.

    "The same day 10 boats were shot at and chased away... ." On February 26, seven fishermen were attacked. One fisherman died and another was injured.

    The Chief Minister said that these "series of incidents of attack by the Sri Lankan Navy on innocent fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu, who had gone about their profession within the Indian waters," was a matter of "grave concern." He sought "urgent action."

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