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Centre finds no proof of SL attacks on fishermen

[Deccan Chronicle, Saturday, 7 January 2012 09:37 No Comment]

The Union external affairs ministry has told the Madras high court bench at Madurai that the allegations of attacks on Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy have not been proven.

However, even if the alleged attacks had happened, it would have taken place only in Lankan waters, it contended.

Submitting counter affidavit to contempt petitions for failing to provide security to Indian fishermen and related issues, Dr Deepak Mittal, director (BSM), Union ministry of external affairs, said the reports of alleged attacks on Indian fishermen have not taken place in Indian waters which have strictly kept under vigil by the navy and the coast guard and no intrusion of Lankan vessels into Indian waters have taken place.

After the filing of contempt petitions in November 2011, deaths of only four fishermen were reported by fisheries department at Mandapam.

The fishing boat had reportedly capsized at high seas due to inclement weather and besides that, no other person or fishermen organisation reported any incidence of death of fishermen, he said adding, “There is no willful disobedience of the court order.”

The court had on October 14, 2011 directed the union government to provide security to the fisherfolks to ensure that the Lankan navy does not subject them to any atrocity while fishing.

The said exercise should be completed within a period of ten days on the receipt of the copy of the order, the bench had ordered.

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