After 26 fishermen from Karaikal were captured by the Lankan Navy, Puducherry Chief Minister N Rangasamy and AIADMK state unit leader A Anbazhagan made separate calls for their early release.
Rangasamy wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh urging him to secure the release of the fishermen, who were captured by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing in five boats at the South East of Kodiyakarai coast.
Providing the names of all the 26 fishermen, Rangasamy said that the family members of the fishermen and the entire fishing community of Karaikal region were much worried over the safety of these fishermen and they had sought the intervention of the government in securing their early release and return.
The Chief Minister said that he would be grateful if Prime Minister could take up the matter through diplomatic channels with the Sri Lankan government and arrange for their early release along with their boats.
Rangasamy also sent a similar letter to Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid urging him to secure the release of Karaikal fishermen.
Separately, the AIADMK urged the Central and Puducherry governments to take steps on a war-footing to secure the release of the 26 fishermen from Karaikal. Addressing a press conference, secretary of Puducherry unit of AIADMK and MLA A Anbazhagan said more than 40 Karaikal fishermen have been attacked by the Lankan Navy in the last two months. He called for steps to get them released without filing cases and also restore their boats and fishing equipment.
The AIADMK leader alleged that Centre is maintaining silence on this issue and is doing nothing to protect the fishermen from the hands of the Lankan navy. He said that the Centre is adopting a ‘foreigner’s’ stance with regard to Tamils. So was the Puducherry CM who has been “lethargic” in taking action on securing the release of the fishermen, said Anbazhagan.
He accused Rangasamy of not being concerned about the welfare of fishermen of Karaikal and said that they are quite angry with the AINRC government. As the GPS had indicated that the Lankan Navy has been attacking the fishermen, he said no action has been taken on the complaint by the fishermen. There was no inquiry conducted to take action on those involved. He said if Rangasamy fails to initiate steps to secure the release of the fishermen, the AIADMK, after getting the permission of party general secretary J Jayalalithaa, would organise a massive agitation by mobilising the fishermen.