High priority to fishermen safety: Antony
New Delhi, Mar 18 : Defence Minister AK Antony on Monday said the government attaches very high priority to the welfare, safety and security of Indian fishermen.
"From time to time, there have been reports of attacks and apprehension on Indian fishermen near International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). As soon as reports of attacks on Indian fishermen are received, the Government, through diplomatic channels, takes up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities," said Antony in Lok Sabha.
"Keeping in mind the humanitarian and livelihood dimensions of the issue, Government has impressed on the Sri Lankan Navy to act with restraint, not to fire on our fishermen and treat our fishermen in a humane manner. The Government of Sri Lanka has denied involvement of their Navy in these incidents," he said.
The minister said the government continues to remain engaged with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that fishermen on both sides can continue to pursue their livelihood in a safe, secure and sustainable manner.