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Karunanidhi writes to Centre on fishermen’s issue

[Hindu, Thursday, 13 January 2011 10:46 No Comment]

M. Karunanidhi. File Photo Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi on Thursday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take firm action to put an end to the killing of Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

In his letter to the Prime Minister in the wake of the killing of Nagapattinam-based fisherman Veerapandian on Wednesday by the Sri Lankan Navy, the Chief Minister said “the atrocities of Sri Lankan Navy are continuing unabated, in spite of repeated assurances given by both Government of India as well as Sri Lankan Government.”

“This particular incident may be taken up with the Government of Sri Lanka for immediate action against those responsible for shooting and killing. Your personal intervention is requested for firm action to put an end to such killings,” he said.

The issue was also raised in the Assembly by the Opposition members through a calling attention motion.

Replying to the motion, Deputy Chief Minster M.K. Stalin informed the House that the government had already announced Rs 5 lakh solatium to his family. Pandian’s sister will get a government job.

He said Pandian had gone for fishing from Jagathapattinam fishing yard in Pudukottai district along with three other fishermen on Wednesday morning. When they were fishing 15 km off the Jagathapattinam coast, the Sri Lankan Navy had fired at them, injuring Pandian in the incident. He was taken to the hospital in Manalmelkudi and doctors there had declared him dead.

Immediately around 100 fishermen took the body to the East Coast road and staged a road roko. District Administration and Fisheries department officials held talks with them. The fishermen dispersed after officials promised solatium for his family and employment for his sister.

Mr Stalin said the district collector was ready with the cheque for Rs 5 lakh. The government was in touch with the district collector and there was no law and order problem. He also recalled the Chief Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister.

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