Rameswaram (TN): BJP on Sunday said it would launch
an agitation at Katchatheevu Island in the Palk Straits and
hoist the national flag there, if the Centre failed to protect
the lives of Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Claiming that six fishermen had died in alleged attacks by
the Lankan Navy this year, Tamil Nadu unit President Pon
Radhakrishnan said the fishermens` problems would be solved if
BJP returns to power.
He was addressing party workers during BJP`s `sea picketing
agitation` at Rameswaram fishing jetty, demanding protection
for fishermen from attacks allegedly by the Lankan Navy.
The party activists led by Radhakrishnan tried to enter the
sea by breaking the cordon but police foiled their attempt,
leading to an altercation between the two groups.
Ramanathapuram Superintendent of Police Kaliraj Mahesh
Kumar pacified the agitating BJP men and brought the situation
BJP All India Secretary K Muralidhar Rao later told
reporters that senior BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition
Sushma Swaraj would travel to Sri Lanka next month to meet
Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse over the alleged attacks on
Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy.
The Congress-led UPA Government should provide safety and
security to the fishermen from the "indiscriminate attacks" by
the Sri Lankan Navy, Rao said.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister
S M Krishna and Home Minister P Chidambaram had "clearly
failed" in their duties to protect the interests of the Indian
fishermen, he said.
Adding that BJP opposed ceding of Katchatheevu to Sri
Lanka, he demanded that government restore the fishing rights
of Indian fishermen in the region. Katchatheevu was ceded to
Sri Lanka in 1974.