Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami has strongly condemned the Sri Lankan Navy for the death of an Indian fisherman in mid-sea. "K Muniasamy was part of a group of fishermen in two boats fishing in their traditional fishing zone, - the Palk Straits - on January 13 when they were chased by the Lankan navy, the CM said in a statement. "Both boats capsized as a result and the fishermen fell into the sea. Eight of them were rescued while Muniasamy drowned," he claimed.
The CM added: "I have often pointed out to the Centre incidents of the Sri Lankan navy chasing away Indian fishermen, damaging their nets and confiscating their boats while they were fishing in their traditional fishing zone of Palk Straits and pressed for quick action." Stating "I strongly condemn the latest incident", he said the AIADMK government would take all steps to protect the livelihood of the Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Expressing condolence over Muniasamy's death, the Chief Minister announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to his family from the Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund. Meanwhile, five Sri Lankan Tamils carrying 17 kg of gold they had allegedly smuggled from that country, landed off the Tamil Nadu coast in a fibreglass boat and escaped, police said. They left behind one gold weighing machine in the vessel.