Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Friday accused the Sri Lankan navy of abducting 21 fishermen when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, and demanded stern action from the Centre to stop recurrence of such incidents.
He said over 400 boats, which went for fishing near Katchatheevu, were on their way back to the Rameshwaram shore when the Sri Lankan navy personnel attacked them on Wednesday.
"They (fishermen) were rounded up and assaulted by the Sri Lankan naval boats which also damaged their nets and equipment before abducting 21 of them," Karunanidhi alleged during a conference of district collectors in Chennai.
The CM said such an "excess" by the Sri Lankan navy was not for the first time and similar incidents had occurred earlier also.
On some previous occasions the Centre had intervened at the behest of the state government and rescued the fishermen, besides holding multi-level talks with the Sri Lankan navy on the issue, he claimed.
But, the promises made by the island nation's navy were not lived up to and "at least now the Centre has to initiate stern measures to put an end to this issue," he said.