Chennai, Oct 28: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Monday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with the highest level in Sri Lanka the issue of its navy firing at Indian fishermen Oct 26.
Referring to the incident in a letter to Manmohan Singh, the text of which was released to the media, Jayalalithaa said: “I strongly urge you to unequivocally condemn this act of the Sri Lankan Navy and take up this matter personally at the highest level in Sri Lanka to ensure an immediate de-escalation of the aggressive posture adopted by the Sri Lankan Navy.”
She said the Palk Bay and the Gulf of Mannar are traditional fishing waters of the fishermen of the southern coast of Tamil Nadu, and the centre must ensure that their lives, avocations and fishing rights are protected.
According to her, the six fishermen on board narrowly escaped the bullets which pierced the wheel house of a boat that was fired upon the Sri Lanka Navy. The windscreen glasses were damaged.
Jayalalithaa said: “This belligerent act of the Sri Lankan Navy is a sharp escalation of the actions of apprehension, detention and incarceration for long periods of time of innocent fishermen belonging to Tamil Nadu.”