Fishermen row: DMK, AIADMK slam Centre



New Delhi: Angry members from DMK, a key constituent of the ruling UPA, today targeted the government in Parliament over frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy, saying it has become the "weakest" in protecting its own citizens.

The attack on the government, in which the AIADMK also joined, came in the Lok Sabha when DMK member TKS Elangovan expressed concern over the arrests, saying such incidents had now become a regular feature.

"India is one of the largest democracy in this part of the world. But it is the weakest in protecting its own citizens, be it the Tamil fishermen or five Indian security personnel in Jammu and Kashmir," Elangovan said.

He said while 50 Indian fishermen have been arrested this morning and three of their boats captured by Sri Lankan Navy, 20 fishermen were arrested yesterday.

At one stage, DMK members were in aisle threatening to move into the Well following signal from their leader T R Baalu.

AIADMK leader M Thambidurai attacked the government for not taking any steps to prevent such incidents which had become "a daily occurrence" and demanded immediate steps to get the fishermen released.

Observing that 800 Tamil fishermen had been killed by Sri Lankan navy in the past few years, he wanted to know whether the Indian coast guard and navy were taking any measure to bring the culprits to book and protect the Indian fishermen from such attacks.

The AIADMK leader said such arrests and "attacks" on Indian fishermen were on the rise "since we have started raising the Sri Lankan humanitarian issues".

PTI