'Arrest SL Navy men for atrocities on fishermen'
Puducherry: Opposition leader in the Assembly V Vaithilingam Tuesday urged the government to arrest Sri Lankan naval forces allegedly involved in incidents of firing at fishermen and attacks on them.
Participating in the debate on the motion of thanks to the Lt Governor's address, he said the naval forces of the island republic were shooting at fishermen and damaging their vessles and equipment within Indian territorial waters as seen from the GPS equipment in the vessels.
He recalled some fishermen from Karaikal were seriously injured when Lankan naval forces shot at them and police there have registered cases against them, based on complaints.
Based on this, police in Karaikal could arrest the naval personnel for their act, he said referring to steps taken by Kerala government to arrest the two Italian marines who allegedly shot dead two fishermen off the Kerala coast.
Congress member P L N Thirumurugan from Karaikal drew the attention of the House of the critical condition of a fisherman shot at allegedly by Sri Lankan naval force recently and was hospitalised and urged government to take up the matter seriously and ensure that fishermen of Karaikal carried on their works without threat to their life.
Intervening Vaithilingam said Puducherry could arrest the naval peronnel as done in the case of the incident in Kerala. If such action was taken, it would create fear in the minds of the personnel and they would desist from further attacks.
Speaker V Sabapathy said that this was a good suggestion and could be considered by the government.
V M C Sivakumar (Independent) said it was perplexing why the Central government remained silent even after several fishermen of Tamil nadu and Puducherry faced threat or were injured by Lankan naval personnel. " It is because we only describe the fishermen as those from Tamil Nadu and not as Indian fishermen," he said.