CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him not to proceed with the Indian Marine Fishermen Bill, 2021 in the monsoon session of Parliament.
The Chief Minister’s letter to the Prime Minister came after Fishermen Associations and VCK leader D. Ravikumar took up the matter and staged protests and held black flag demonstrations against the proposed bill.
IANS had reported on July 20, that the fishermen associations were planning massive agitations across the state and had requested the Chief Minister to intervene in the matter.
The Chief Minister in the letter written on Tuesday evening told the Prime Minister not to proceed with the proposed Indian Marine Fishermen Bill 2021 as it was totally against the interests of fishermen.
He said that the bill infringes upon the rights of the fishermen provided by the Constitution. The Chief Minister said that there are several provisions in the bill which can lead to the imprisonment of fishermen, levying penalties on them, their criminalization and use of force against them and that the bill has created disquiet and unrest in the coastal areas of the state.
The Chief Minister also said that after taking the views of the stakeholders on the present bill, a decision of moving a fresh bill, taking into consideration the suggestions made by the fishermen community, may be taken up.
It may be noted that D. Ravikumar, also a member of Parliament from Villupuram constituency, had called upon Chief Minister Stalin to intervene in the Indian Marine Fishermen Bill 2021. The VCK leader had earlier in a virtual conference conducted by the Union Fisheries ministry opposed the draft proposal.
Several fishermen associations had also come out against the bill and had conducted protests and black flag demonstrations at Chennai on Monday against the proposed bill.
South Indian Fishermen Welfare Association President, K. Bharathi who was spearheading the movement against the draft bill told IANS, “The Chief Minister has acted promptly and the ball is now in the Prime Minister’s court. We are waiting for a response from the PM to our Chief Minister and will plan further agitations after knowing his response.”