CM Palaniswami writes to PM Modi on Coast Guard attack as Rameswaram fishermen hold day-long stir
On a day when Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Coast Guard firing on Tamil fishermen off Rameswaram coast that left two persons injured, around 40,0
RAMANATHAPURAM/CHENNAI: On a day when Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the Coast Guard firing on Tamil fishermen off Rameswaram coast that left two persons injured, around 40,000 fishermen from the coastal town observed a day-long strike on Wednesday.
In his letter, Palaniswami said the incident could have been avoided if the Coast Guard had shown restraint. He asked the Prime Minister to intervene and ask the Ministry of Defence to avoid such incidents.
He also pointed out how fishermen in the Palk Bay were often apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy and their boats confiscated. The prolonged incarceration was causing much anxiety and insecurity among Tamil fishermen, he added.
Due to the strike, over 750 trawlers did not venture into the sea, resulting in a loss of nearly `2 crore.
Speaking to Express, District Secretary of Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boat Fishermen Association P Jesuraja, said, “We demand the arrest of the Coast Guard personnel for the brutal treatment meted out by them to the fishermen. They not only opened fire, but had also hit the fishermen for not speaking in Hindi.”
He also added that the government should provide relief to the two victims, injured in the incident. The fishermen association also planned to stage a protest at the Rameswaram bus stand on Thursday. “We expect a favourable reply from the government before Saturday, failing which the strike may be extended,” he said.
The injured fishermen, Pitchai and Johnson, are being treated at the general hospital in Rameswaram and an FIR has been registered in the Mandapam police station after a bullet shell from the incident was found in their boat. The fishermen of the Palk Bay region have decided to go on strike on Thursday condemning the attack.
Hit for not speaking Hindi
Coast Guard personnel not only opened fire, but had also hit the fishermen for not speaking Hindi, says TN Mechanised Boat Fishermen Assn