India should assert with Sri Lanka: Jayalalithaa

She said fishermen from India had for generations fished in the Palk Bay that divides the two countries.

Last Updated: Nov 17, 2011, 00:04 AM IST

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday urged the central government to assert itself and tell Sri Lanka to control "rogue elements" in its navy who attack Indian fishermen.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said: "I strongly feel the government of India should assert itself with the Sri Lankan government to control the rogue elements in the Sri Lanka Navy who continue to (physically) assault our innocent fishermen."

She said fishermen from India had for generations fished in the Palk Bay that divides the two countries.

The chief minister said that on Nov 15, a fisherman from Rameswaram was "seriously injured when Indian fishing boats were attacked, allegedly by the Sri Lanka Navy personnel" off Kachaatheevu.

She said as many as 15 Sri Lankan naval personnel came in a high-speed vessel and stoned the Tamil Nadu fishermen, injuring one of them severely in the head.

"The continued occurrences of such incidents has created a feeling of insecurity among the fishermen community and despair over the apparent inaction of the government of India to prevent such attacks despite our repeated requests," the letter said.

Soliciting the prime minister`s "urgent action in this regard", Jayalalithaa cited her earlier letters on the subjects between June and November this year.

Bureau Report