States

PM Urged to Get Fishermen, Boats Released From Sri Lanka

Tamil Fishermen. Credit: PTI

Tamil fishermen. Credit: PTI

Chennai: Tamil Nadu chief minister K. Palaniswami has urged the Centre to take immediate steps to secure the release of 54 Indian fishermen apprehended by Sri Lanka.

140 fishing boats are also in Sri Lanka’s custody and this is fuelling unrest among the fisher folk, he noted.

“I strongly urge you to … take up the alarming and frequent abduction of our fishermen in their traditional waters with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan government,” he said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday.

He appealed to Modi to ensure the safety and security of Indian fishermen in the Palk Bay.

Palaniswami said recently 46 fishermen and their nine mechanised fishing boats were apprehended in separate incidents.

The fishermen had set sail from Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts of Tamil Nadu. They were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy between September 11 and October 26, he said in the letter.

“So far, in 2017, 317 Tamil Nadu fishermen and 62 fishing boats have been apprehended in 59 incidents and 263 of these fishermen have been released after considerable persuasion by the governments of India and Tamil Nadu,” he noted.

Sri Lanka released only 36 fishing boats out of 61 fishing boats seized in 2015, he said.