Chennai: Fisheries minister D. Jayakumar and other political leaders condemned the mid-sea attack by Sri Lankan Navy personnel on a group of fishermen from Rameswaram that left two persons injured and led to a heavy loss of fishing equipment worth several lakhs.
Jayakumar told the media that the state government would take up the matter with the Centre for action.
Condemning the incident, PMK founder S. Ramadoss said that about 3,600 fishermen in 600 boats were fishing in the Bay of Bengal near Katchatheevu when they were attacked with stones and glass bottles.
The nets that they had laid out on the sea were also damaged by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel, who had intruded into the Indian water to launch the attack, Ramadoss said, adding that this had been the second such attack in the last 10 days after a similar incident near Katchatheevu on October 18.
Urging the Centre to make efforts to retrieve Katchatheevu, MDMK general secretary Vaiko blamed the attacks on the Indian government giving away the 285 acre uninhabited island to Sri Lanka in 1976. He said such attacks had been going on for the past 40 years.
DMK Treasurer T.R. Baalu said the BJP should not be in cahoots with the Sri Lankan government in taking away the traditional fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen.
In a statement, he urged the External Affairs Minister to issue a warning to the Sri Lankan government through their High Commission.