Tamil Nadu

Fishermen stage protest

Fishermen staging a protest on the beachfront demanding early release of financial assistance for fishing ban period on Friday.

Fishermen staging a protest on the beachfront demanding early release of financial assistance for fishing ban period on Friday.   | Photo Credit: T.Singaravelou

Hundreds of fishermen berthed their boats on the shore near the beachfront on Friday as a mark of protest against the delay in disbursing financial assistance to fishermen during the ban period.

Fishermen from the coastal hamlets of Puducherry started arriving near the beach in front of the Chief Secretariat around 10 a.m. and berthed their vessels for more than an hour.

The protesters holding placards and black flags shouted slogans against the Lieutenant Governor for the “inordinate” delay in disbursing the ban period financial assistance and savings money for the beneficiaries.

Parliamentary Secretary to the Chief Minister K. Lakshminarayanan, Government Whip R. K. R Anantharaman and Congress legislator T. Djeaoumorthy visited the beach and expressed solidarity to the protesters. The fishermen left the beachfront after police made several appeals.

The protest was staged a day after Secretary (Fisheries) Purva Garg issued a release stating that the Lt. Governor has given the nod for the scheme to disburse the assistance.

Minister for Health Malladi Krishna Rao, who also holds the Fisheries portfolio, told reporters that the government was yet to get any official communication from the Lt. Governor’s office about clearance given to the scheme.

“We despatched the file regarding disbursement of financial assistance to fishermen in the second week of April. The Lt. Governor laid several conditions to alter an ongoing scheme which the Cabinet could not accept,” he said.

Though the ban period was from April, the fishermen stopped venturing into sea after the Centre announced the nationwide lockdown from March 25. “They resumed the fishing activity only during the first week of this month. They were without work for more than two months. Only elected representatives are answerable to the fishermen and not the Lt. Governor,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:00:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/fishermen-stage-protest/article31928486.ece

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