Stalin writes to Centre to prevail upon Sri Lanka to secure release of 45 fishermen

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin requested the Centre on Thursday (14 Dec.) to immediately take up through appropriate diplomatic channels the apprehension of fishermen from the state with Sri Lanka and secure the release of 45 fishermen and 138 boats.

Expressing “a deep sense of anguish” on yet another incident of apprehension of six Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy on 13 December, he said this was the third such occurrence in a week.

“Six fishermen from Jegathapattinam fishing harbour, Pudukkottai district, who ventured for fishing in a mechanised fishing boat were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy along with their fishing boat,” the Chief Minister said in a letter to Union External Affairs Minister C Jaishankar, a copy of which was made available to the media here.

He said the Sri Lankan Navy continued to infringe upon the traditional rights of our fishermen, and their frequent arrests have jeopardised the livelihoods of the fishermen and have instilled fear and panic in the fishing hamlets.

In addition to the above fishermen, 137 boats and 39 fishermen were still under Sri Lankan custody. “I therefore request you to take this up urgently with the Sri Lankan government through appropriate diplomatic channels to immediately secure the release of 45 fishermen and 138 fishing boats in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities,” Stalin said in the letter.PTI

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