The Madras High Court on Wednesday directed the central and state governments to look into grievance about welfare schemes for rehabilitating families of Tamil Nadu fishermen affected by attacks allegedly by the Sri Lankan Navy in the Palk Straits. “The Central and State Governments are directed to look into the grievance about the welfare schemes of fishermen if already not looked into,” a bench, comprising Acting Chief Justice Huluvadi G Ramesh and Justice M Sundar said.
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It disposed of a PIL seeking a direction to central and state governments to formulate welfare schemes to rehabilitate families of Tamil Nadu fishermen, affected by the “recurring attacks”.
Petitioner Fisherman Care, an NGO, had sought a direction to formulate welfare schemes to rehabilitate families of affected fishermen, by providing employment, housing and financial assistance for seeking their livelihood.
The petitioner alleged that since 1983 there were various human rights violations against the fisherman by the Lankan Navy in Palk Straits.
These violations were the offshoot of India’s “historic blunder” in ceding Katchathivu islet to Sri Lanka, the petitioner contended.
Quoting Coast Guard figures, he said a total of 111 fishermen had been killed between 1983 and 2013.
He submitted that the recent meetings between India and Sri Lanka to find out a concrete solution to settle the issue has also failed.