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Attack on fishermen unacceptable: India tells Lanka

Last updated on: January 23, 2011 17:16 IST

Strongly reacting to the killing of a second Indian fisherman in less than a fortnight allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, New Delhi on Sunday termed it as "unacceptable" and sought a report in the matter from its mission in Colombo.

External Affairs Minister S M Krishna has taken the matter "very seriously", saying it is "unacceptable" and has sought a report from the Indian mission. The minister's office has also asked Tamil Nadu special department to provide the details regarding the fisherman and the incident.

Voicing concern over attacks, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee also asked the defence force of that country not to open fire on the Indian fishermen but apprehend them if they had done something wrong. "There is no point in shooting Indian fishermen," he told mediapersons after meeting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M Karunanidhi at his residence here to discuss the issue.

Mukherjee asked the Sri Lankan Navy to desist from opening fire on Indian fishermen and said if they had done something wrong like crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line, they should be apprehended and due procedures followed.

The finance minister said he had assured Karunanidhi he would take up the matter with the foreign ministry, which in turn would raise it with Lankan authorities to ensure such incidents did not recur. "I am told that in the last 10 days two fishermen (from Tamil Nadu) have been killed. We have good relations with Sri Lanka and are helping them," Mukerjee said.

In a fresh incident of attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen in Palk Straits, one person was killed on January 12 when Sri Lankan Navy allegedly opened fire at three fishermen, who put out to sea from Jagadapattinnam near Pudukottai.

India had reacted strongly to the killing of an Indian fisherman in firing by the Sri Lankan Navy on January 12, saying such incidents have no "justification" and asked authorities in the island nation to "desist" from use of force.

Tamil Nadu fishermen have complained of frequent attacks by the island republic's navy, prompting  Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam, an United Progressive Alliance coalition partner and other political parties in the state to demand an end to such attacks by taking up the issue strongly with Sri Lanka.

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