Karunanidhi pledges to resolve fishermen killing issue with Sri Lanka

Source : ANI
Last Updated: Sun, Mar 20, 2011 07:00 hrs

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. Karunanidhi has pledged to find a solution to the alleged killing of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy.

Releasing the Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam's (DMK's) manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls in the state on Saturday, Karunanidhi said his party would urge the UPA Government at the centre to bring back the Katchatheevu Island that was ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s.

"The increasing incidents of fishermen killings, torture and arrests in the recent past have become a regular thing. The only solution for this is to get back Katchatheevu. Attempts with this effect would be made consulting central government," he said.

India shares an expansive oceanic border with Sri Lanka without any perceptible demarcation and fishermen on both sides ignore rules while netting their catch. Consequently, fishermen from both the countries frequently stray into each other's territory and end up spending years in jails.

Karunanidhi also announced that if his party came back to power, then it would distribute rice free of cost to people who come under Below Poverty Line.

"People living below poverty line and who are covered under Antodaya - card scheme get 35 kilograms of rice at the cost of one rupee. We will give it free of cost," he said.

He also said that the party would distribute grinders to women, laptops to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribe students. The manifesto also promised free bus travel to senior citizens.

Regional parties dominate the political scene of Tamil Nadu. The Congress party held only 34 seats in the assembly while the DMK won the majority of seats in the 2006 elections.

The polls to the 234-member Tamil Nadu Legislative Assembly will take place on April 13.

Three other states, Assam, West Bengal and Kerala, besides the federally administered tiny territory of Pondicherry, neighbouring Tamil Nadu, will hold provincial polls beginning next month. (ANI)