October 6, 2016
Chennai: The Madurai bench of the Madras High Court on Thursday dismissed a public interest litigation filed two years ago by an advocate seeking deployment of the armed forces to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from the Sri Lankan navy.
Advocate SM Ananda Murugan filed the petition in 2014, saying that the Katchatheevu island, the Palk Strait and the Gulf of Mannar have been the areas of conflict between Tamil Nadu fishermen and the Sri Lankan navy. The Central government unilaterally ceded Katchatheevu, which was under the Ramanathapuram parliamentary constituency in Tamil Nadu, to Sri Lanka through an agreement.
The Indian government claimed that fishing rights and the right to worship at St Antony’s church were with the Indian fishermen. However, the Sri Lankan government misinterpreted it and said that the Indian fishermen have only rights to dry their nests on the island, and the Sri Lankan navy has been killing and injuring hundreds of Tamil Nadu fishermen because of this, he said.
When the case came up for hearing on Thursday, the government counsel said it was taking all necessary steps to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen. Following this, the court dismissed the petition.