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AIADMK, DMK members raise fisherman killing issue in Parliament

AIADMK, DMK members raise fisherman killing issue in Parliament

New Delhi: Members from AIADMK and DMK on Friday raised the issue of killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy in Parliament and asked the government to give a strong message to Sri Lanka.

In the Rajya Sabha, the issue was raised by Kanimozhi of DMK and S R Balasubramaniam of AIADMK, to which the government responded by saying that the matter has been taken up with the Sri Lankan government.

“The government has taken this matter and the welfare and concerns of all fishermen most seriously. We have raised this issue through Vice President on the sidelines of a summit in Indonesia. The government of Sri Lanka has promised full investigation,” Minister of State for External Affairs M J Akbar said.

Vice President Hamid Ansari had raised this issue during his bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Srisena on the sidelines of the Summit of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) on March 7.

A 22-year-old Indian fisherman was shot dead on Monday last while he was fishing in a mechanised boat a short distance off the Katchatheevu islet. Local fishermen alleged that he was killed by the Sri Lankan Navy while another was injured.

Kanimozhi said many fishermen have lost their lives and their livelihood has been affected.

“They (fishermen) are worried and they are not sure about coming back alive if they go for fishing,” she said.

Describing this as a burning issue in Tamil Nadu, she said the central government is not responding. Kanimozhi asked the Centre to take steps for the welfare of fishermen since it claims to be a “strong” government.

She demanded that a full discussion should be allowed on this matter. Balasubramaniam said the killing of fishermen is “not justifiable” under any circumstances and this incident should be strongly condemned.

He also said a strong message should be given to the Sri Lankan government.

Madhusudan Mistry of Congress raised the issue of arrest of fishermen by Pakistan recently and asked why the government is not taking any action. Responding to this, Akbar said that, “the issue of fishermen has a long history and this is the most unfortunate incident”.

In the Lok Sabha, the issue was raised by J Jayavardhan of AIADMK who demanded that Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India should be summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs to lodge a protest.

PTI