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PIL against Lankan navy, fishermen filed in HC

Press Trust of India  |  Madurai 

A PIL seeking final report in cases filed against Sri Lankan Navy and fishermen of the island nation for allegedly attacking Indian fishermen and damaging their vessels was today filed in Madras High

The petitioner, S M Anantha Murugan, an advocate, said the Madurai Bench of the HC here had already ordered the Union Government's Cabinet Secretary, National Security Adviser, Defence Secretary, Deputy Director General of Operations and Coastal Security of Indian Coast Guard and Secretary of External Affairs to take safety measures to see that Indian fishermen were not subjected to any "atrocities by Sri Lankan Navy" while they were exercising their fishing right.

The State Ocean Patrol Police, Marine Police and Q-Branch of state police had registered 253 FIRs against the Lankan navy and its fishermen for allegedly "murdering and injuring" Indian fishermen and damaging their vessels in Indian waters till November 2,2012. Subsequently, after a High order on November 2 that year, 99 FIRs had been registered, he said.

The petitioner said the stage of the cases were not known. He also sought direction to deploy sufficient state police forces at the International Maritime Boundary line, and to appoint a retired Admiral of the Indian Navy to be assisted by prominent seafaring oceanic professionals to study the "horrific marine conditions" in Palk strait and Robert Bay.

The petitioner said 169 Indian fishermen were languishing in Sri Lankan Prisons. Besides 980 fishing vessels, holding licence, had been damaged by Sri Lankan ships, he alleged.

Former and present state Chief Ministers had written 34 letters in this regard to the Centre, he said and accused the Union Government of failing to provide Indian Naval protection to Tamil fishermen in the IMB line.

First Published: Thu, February 06 2014. 23:56 IST