Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take necessary diplomatic steps to secure the early release of 16 fishermen apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy.
He also requested the prime minister initiate steps for the release of a total of 102 fishing boats seized by the neighbours over the years.
In his letter to PM Modi, Stalin cited the capture of the fishermen and their two mechanised fishing boats by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 12.
“This is the third incident of attack/arrest of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan nationals/Navy within a month and as you are aware, these fishermen are solely dependent on their fishing activity for livelihood and such frequent incidents shatter the livelihood of poor fishermen and also create fear psychosis in their mind,” he said.
Stalin said he had brought the issue to the notice of the Ministry of External Affairs, which took up the matter with the Sri Lankan government. However, despite such moves, incidents like these continue to take place, Stalin added.
Stalin sought PM Modi’s personal intervention in the matter to protect the traditional fishing rights of fishermen.
“As of now, 102 fishing boats of Tamil Nadu are under the custody of Sri Lanka and six fishing boats which Sri Lanka released are yet to be repatriated back to India,” the letter noted.
The Indian Express