As the war between the LTTE and the Sri Lankan Army is rising, reports have surfaced about Indian fishing trawlers off Kochi coast making the best out of the war by selling diesel to the LTTE agents at the mid sea for excessive rates.
With the war presumptuous huge amount, the LTTE has been left with no other choice but to forcefully scout for fuel to power their defence and provide vehicles.
An official of the coastal base position in Kochi, which undertakes patrolling up to 12 maritime miles off coast, said they had come crossways fishing boats fitted with extra overhead tanks filled with diesel.
"The in the clouds tanks, mainly used to store fresh water, had hidden compartments to carry additional amount of diesel. Above all, the boats fill their tanks beyond the necessary capacity for the journey. As of now, there is no legal framework to restrict the boats from transport extra amount of diesel," the official said.
He said though the patrolling team had impounded various boats, they get away maxim that they necessary more fuel to be in sea for more number of days.
"A device should be in place to check the amount of diesel inspired by the boats, other wise they will keep on illegally selling the government-subsidised diesel to third parties," he said adding that the bulk of the crew in the fishing boats were from Tamil Nadu.
Confirming that there were sure information of diesel pilferage at the mid sea by the fishermen to the LTTE, an official of the Fisheries Enforcement Department said their duty was very much limited to examination the list of the trawlers.
"Our job is to assist the Fisheries Department and make sure that the trawlers restricted to rules and system laid down by the Fisheries Department," he added. Fisheries Department deputy director K L Raveendran said the government provided a financial support of Rs 1.50 per litre for diesel for the fishing boats and it was limited to a utmost of Rs 1,500 per month for a trawler.
"We have limited the monetary support to ensure that no fishing boats maltreatment it," he said.
However, Coast protector (DIG) Vijay Chafekar said they had so far not conservative any in order in this look upon.
"Neither the Kerala Marines nor the Fisheries Enforcement have apprised us of the developments. We will behavior an study into the event once we get the particulars in writing from the departments concerned."