Chennai, Dec 7

Several thousands of people belonging to fishermen's families in Kanyakumari protested at the district's Kuzhithurai railway station on Thursday, demanding prompt action in tracing the fishermen caught in sea due to cyclone Ockhi, said an activist.

"Members of nine fishing villages in Kanyakumari district are protesting on the Kuzhiturai railway station tracks," John Leonard, President, Neithal Ezhuchi Peravai, told IANS over phone from Nagercoil.

"The people are steadfast and want to continue to protest till there is some concrete information about the missing fishermen."
He said even children are protesting. "Though the government has been saying the missing fishermen are in Maharashtra, Kerala and Lakshadweep, but they are not allowed to call their homes," Leonard said.

"The officials in those states could at least send a list of fishermen with their names and the villages they hail from in Tamil Nadu here so that the family members are put at ease," Leonard said.

The protesters are demanding that their villages be merged with Kerala, saying the government there has done a lot in locating the fishermen missing from their state, Leonard said.

An angry woman told a television channel: "It is eight days since the fishermen went missing. There is no action from the Tamil Nadu government."
Leonard dismisses the Tamil Nadu government figures of 2,604 fishermen being rescued out of 2,864 caught in cyclone Ockhi.

"Over 4,000 fishermen from Kanyakumari district are missing. It may be true that some of them may be in Maharashtra, Kerala and Gujarat. But we don't have any information," Leonard said.

He said the people will continue their protest throughout the night which in turn would affect the rail traffic on that route.

 

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