Oct 28, Chennai: The Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu J. Jayalalithaa has urged the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take the alleged incident of Sri Lanka Navy firing at Tamil Nadu fishermen "extremely seriously" before the situation further escalates.
"I strongly urge you to unequivocally condemn this act of the Sri Lankan Navy and take up this matter personally at the highest level in Sri Lanka to ensure an immediate de-escalation of the aggressive posture adopted by the Sri Lankan Navy," the Chief Minister wrote in a letter to the PM.
Sri Lanka Navy is accused of opening fire on an Indian fishing boat with six fishermen from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu on Saturday (26th October) when they were fishing on the high seas near Aathuvai in the Sethu Canal.
According to the fishermen, Sri Lankan Navy personnel who came in a speed boat had opened fire at the fishermen's boat without any warning.
"This unwarranted, ruthless and inhuman attack on innocent fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu who were peacefully pursuing their traditional avocation has caused immense outrage and frustration amongst the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu," the angry Chief Minister wrote.
She said this "belligerent act" of the Sri Lankan Navy is a sharp escalation of arresting the Tamil Nadu fishermen and remanding them for a long time in Sri Lankan jails.
According to the Chief Minister, there are already 75 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 35 boats in Sri Lankan custody.
"The Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar are traditional fishing waters of the fishermen of the Southern Coast of Tamil Nadu and the Government of India must ensure that their lives, avocations and fishing rights are protected," Jayalalithaa urged the Indian Prime Minister.