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Home > News > PTI

Tamil Nadu CM not in favour of joint patrolling

April 02, 2007 17:29 IST

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Describing the frequent attacks on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy as a "challenge" before the country, Chief Minister M Karunanidhi on Monday said that he did not favour joint patrolling of the Palk strait by the Indian and Sri Lankan Navies.

"The joint patrolling should not become an alliance between a rat and a frog. Such patrolling will be suspected.

Anyway the matter has to be decided by the Centre," he said, in the state assembly, replying to points raised by members, cutting across party lines, who expressed concern over the attacks.

On Marumalarchi Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam leader Vaiko's reported remarks that he had become the "mouthpiece" of Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse, Karunanidhi said on common issues like Cauvery, Reservation to OBCs and Sri Lankan Tamils issue, clashes and differences of opinion should be avoided.

"If we clash among ourselves, the issues would get affected," he said.

On Vaiko's remarks that the Indian army was only "playing second fiddle" to the Sri Lankan army and had not taken effective steps to protect fishermen, he said All India Anna Dravida Munnethra Kazhagam chief Jayalalithaa might say that the remarks were similar to the one he made at a public meeting at Tirumangalam, supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam for which he was detained under Prevention Of Terrorism Act during AIADMK rule.

If the Centre asked whether it would be wrong to take action against Vaiko for his remarks against the Indian army, what could be the answer, Karunanidhi said.

"We should pay attention only to our demands, without giving way to such situations," he said.

The Chief Minister said the solatium announced by him to the families of five fishermen, who were killed in attacks off Kanyakumari coast recently, would be hiked from Rs 2 lakh to 5 lakh, as demanded by members, who raised the issue.

A family member of the deceased would be given employment in the government, he said.

A high-speed vessel and a helicopter would be kept ready at Kanyakumari for search operations, he said.

Earlier, D Jayakumar (AIADMK), raising the issue, said the state and central governments should take action to stop the killings of fishermen. He demanded that the solatium given to the families should be raised to Rs 5 lakh.

The House witnessed some tense moments, when Congress MLA C Gnanasekaran read out Vaiko's statements and accused him of politicising the issue. AIADMK and MDMK members were on their feet, protesting the remarks.

Speaker R Avudaiyappan had to tell the Congress MLA to confine himself to the subject.

T Velmurugan (PMK), John Joseph (CPI-M) and V Sivapunniya (CPI) wanted the state and central governments to take stern action to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

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