Fishermen here today announced that they would go on an indefinite fast from tomorrow to press the Centre to urge Sri Lanka to withdraw the Fisheries bill, which aimed at preventing Indian fishermen from entering their territorial waters. Members of various fishermen associations during a meeting here resolved to launch the protest fast and also demanded that Lankan government release the arrested fishermen and fishing boats seized by the island nation’s navy.
The fishermen alleged that Lankan Navy personnel were assaulting them brutally for crossing the international border by accident and said false charges like smuggling of drugs were foisted. Chief Minister K Palaniswami had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday urging the Centre to lodge its “strong protest” with Colombo against the legislation. “It is widely reported in a section of media that under the provisions of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Amendment) Bill, the fishing trawlers as well as fishing gear used for fishing in the Sri Lankan territorial waters will be confiscated, fishermen imprisoned for two years and huge fine upto 50,000 Lankan Rupees will be imposed,” he had said in the letter.