Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention in stopping the “atrocities” committed against Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The AIADMK MP, along with the party’s floor leader in Lok Sabha P Venugopal, submitted a letter to the PMO.
The move comes in the backdrop of the death of a 22-year-old Indian fisherman who was shot dead on Monday allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy personnel while he was fishing in a mechanised boat at a short distance off Katchatheevu islet.
“Attacks on Tamil fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy are going unabated and have increased in the recent past. Though a consensus was reached during the ‘peace talks’, the norms are not being adhered to,” Thambidurai said in his letter.
During the past one week, a total of 50 fishermen have been arrested apart from their belongings being taken away. “We request the Prime Minister to look into the issue and take necessary action to stop the atrocities against Tamil fishermen in territorial waters,” he said.
The Sri Lankan government, however, said that an initial probe report ruled out its navy’s involvment in the killing of the fisherman.
Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Lieutenant Commander Chaminda Walakuluge in Colombo categorically denied any involvement of the navy in the fisherman’s killing, saying the navy does not open fire at poaching fishermen and only arrests them.
In a statement, Foreign Ministry of Sri Lanka said, “the initial investigations had indicated that the Sri Lankan navy was not involved.”
“Irrespective of the parties involved, if in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern and all possible action will be taken in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities to investigate into this incident utilising GPS technology as well,” it added.