'Extremist elements' in TN blowing fishermen issue out of proportion: Subramanian Swamy

| Updated: Mar 08, 2017 11:55 IST

New Delhi [India], March 8 (ANI): Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday called on the Centre to take strong measures and collaborate with the Sri Lankan Government for allowing fishing in their region till the time the Indian side is re-populate with export quality sea-foods for the benefits of the fisherman. "The exports quality seafood is almost exhausted from the Indian side and the fishermen are now forced by their owners to cross the border for fishing in the Sri Lankan areas. A solution has to be found out, that for the time being Indian fisherman can do fishing in Sri Lanka, for which the Indian government should compensate and by the time we will re-populate our side of water," Swamy told ANI. Swamy also blamed extremist elements in Tamil Nadu for blowing up the issue out of proportion and asked the state government to take a strong stand on it. "The fisherman issue is being made out by some extremist elements in Tamil Nadu as a kind of Tamil issue as they want separate Tamil Nadu from India. It has been a long dream which is never going to come true," he said. Earlier, Sri Lanka promised to work in cooperation with India to investigate the matter, however, denying the involvement of the Navy. "Initial investigations indicate that the Sri Lanka Navy is not involved in this alleged incident. Irrespective of the parties involved, if in fact a shooting has taken place, it is a matter of grave concern, and all possible action will be taken, in cooperation with the relevant Indian authorities, to investigate into this incident, utilising GPS technology as well," said an official statement. The statement added that the Government of Sri Lanka is deeply concerned about the alleged shooting and the connected loss of life of one fisherman and injury caused to another. "The safety of fishermen is of utmost importance and the Government of Sri Lanka is firm in its commitment to ensuring that all Government agencies treat all Indian fishermen in a humane manner at all times," it said. A group of Indian fishermen, who were fishing between Danushkodi and Katchatheevu off the Tamil Nadu coast, were allegedly fired upon by the Sri Lankan Navy in which one fisherman was killed. As per reports, around 500 boats went for fishing on Friday evening from Rameshwaram. The Sri Lankan navy started firing in which a man died of the bullet injury on his neck. (ANI)