The Tamil Nadu government today threatened to call off the bilateral talks between fishermen of India and Sri Lanka here tomorrow if 54 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested recently by the Navy of the island nation, were not released as assured by the Lankan government.
Sri Lankan naval personnel allegedly threatened and chased away Tamil Nadu fishermen when they were fishing near Katchatheevu early Tuesday morning, a local representative of the Fishermen's Association said.
Rameswaram: Sri Lankan Naval personnel on Tuesday allegedly fired in the air and damaged more than 20 fishing nets to chase away Indian fishermen fishing near Katchatheevu and other areas, Tamil Nadu Fisheries Department officials and local fishermen's association said.
Virtually endorsing the ruling AIADMK`s demand for retrieval of Katchatheevu, BJP on Sunday said the issue of Indian sovereignty over the islet, ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, has to be revisited.
BJP ally MDMK Wednesday pressed that India should retrieve Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by way of two agreements in 1974 and 1976, saying the move will guarantee livelihood of Indian fishermen.
The islet of Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait is a sovereign property of Sri Lanka and the 1974 and 1976 agreements between India and Sri Lanka do not confer any fishing rights on fishermen from India, the Centre has told the Madras High Court.
Thirty six fishermen from a village in Pudukottai district and this coastal town were arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel on Wednesday in two separate incidents while fishing near Neduntheevu and Katchatheevu islet, a fisheries department official said.
The Supreme Court issued notice to Centre on DMK chief M Karunanidhi`s plea seeking direction to government to retrieve island of Katchatheevu which was given to Sri Lanka in 1974 and make it as part of Tamil Nadu.