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TN denies reports about Lankan navy attacking fishermen

July 16, 2012 22:41 IST

The Tamil Nadu government on Monday denied reports that the Sri Lankan navy had allegedly attacked fishermen belonging to the state on Sunday.

Fisheries Minister KA Jayapaul said following reports that they were attacked while fishing at Katchatheevu, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had directed officials to probe the matter.

"The fishermen said they heard some sound near Iranial island and suspected that it could have been a gun shot. However, no one said they witnessed the Lankan Navy firing in air and could not confirm about such an incident," he said in a statement.

Some 697 fishermen, who had put out to the sea on July 14 from Rameswaram, had safely returned and there was no damage to boats or fishing accessories, he said.

If the Sri Lankan navy had attacked the fishermen, the chief minister would have immediately brought it to the notice of the Centre, he said.

The government, which is determined to retrieve Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, besides ensuring traditional fishing rights of fishermen, was taking determined efforts for the fishermen's welfare, he said.

Dismissing the reports as 'contrary to facts', he said they were published without ascertaining the truth and with the motive to create sensation.

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