Fishermen issue: CM wants strong action from PM

The Tamil Nadu government has expressed concern over the “alarming increase” in number of “attacks” on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy and sought the centre’s intervention for release of 42 of them.

Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the arrest of TN fishermen by the Sri Lankan navy.

He urged the Prime Minister to take up the issue with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan government and ensure the immediate release of 42 fishermen, including 14 fishermen who were apprehended on Saturday (June 24), and 141 boats in their custody.

He said Sri Lankan navy had scant respect for Indian diplomatic efforts. “The alarming increase in the frequency of abductions by the Sri Lankan Navy is a matter of utmost concern for the government and the people of Tamil Nadu. An immediate intervention at the highest level is sought to resolve this long-standing livelihood issue of our fishermen,” he said.

The frequent incidents have a “demoralising impact” on not just the fishermen but the people of Tamil Nadu, he said.

The CM also noted that the Sri Lankan government had not released any of the fishing boats that were apprehended since January 2015.