Chennai, Nov 15 (): In the early hours fishermen from Rameshwaram had been to the waters when they were near Dhanushkodi and Katchatheevu, The Lankan Navy personnel, in 16 mechanized boats, reportedly abused fishermen and started attacking them ruthlessly.
Selvaraj sustained severe head injuries. The Lankan Navy men fled away from the scene taking away the catch, fishing nets and other equipment.
When the fishermen retreated from the scene, their boats were attacked with stones and many were damaged. Tension prevailed in Rameshwaram this morning following the attack. Selvaraj was rushed to Government Hospital.
‘I request you to kindly take a strong stand against the government of Sri Lanka with regard to such attacks on our fishermen and convey your serious apprehension through tough words and action’, Dr Jayalalithaa told Manmohan Singh. Jayalalithaa said there had been over 22 incidents of attacks of Tamilnadu fishermen by Lankan authorities since May this year and six major ones during the past one month. In the letter, she said the attacks should be viewed as a national issue and not as an isolated problem of Tamilnadu.
Manmohan Singh too reportedly raised the issue during his meeting with Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse on the sidelines of SAARC summit recently and the latter assured that their (fishermen) safety would be looked into. Those who survived the attack described it as the high-handedness of the Lankan navy personnel. Such frequent attacks have been posing a threat to our survival, they added.
In a measure to reduce the incidents of Indian fishermen crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and intruding into Sri Lanka’s waters, the Indian Navy has initiated a special plan to create awareness among the fishermen.
Indian navy officials have held a meeting with fishermen’s representatives from the Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu state to educate the fishermen to avoid the trespassing incidents, according to a report in the The Hindu.
At the meeting held in Jegadapattinam on Friday, the Indian Navy officer-in-charge has shown the photographs taken by the Sri Lankan security personnel of fishermen of Pudukottai district who had intruded into the Sri Lankan waters.
Representatives of fishermen societies, welfare associations and officials from the Indian Department of Fisheries, Coastal Security Group personnel and Indian Navy have participated in the meeting. The official has said that on an average, 50 fishermen were found’trespassing’ into the Sri Lankan territory.