Chief Minister MK Stalin has urged External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take steps to secure the release of six fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy and their fishing boats.
In a Demi-Official letter to the Ministry, copies of which were released to the media here, he said six fishermen from Ramanathapuram district of the state and their boat were arrested by the Lankan Navy on July 20.
As of now, 92 fishing boats from Tamil Nadu are under the custody of Sri Lanka. Some of these were apprehended in 2018 and could be permanently damaged.
Calling for a strong and coordinated response by the Indian Government at the highest level to release all the fishermen and fishing boats that have been apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy, Stalin urged the Centre to take necessary action to seek exemption for the fishermen from appearing in person before Sri Lankan courts in view of the unprecedented situation there.
The apprehended fishermen were released on a condition that the owner of the boat should appear before the Sri Lankan Court in person to claim ownership. Due to the prevailing situation in Sri Lanka this has not been feasible, Stalin said.
He also thanked the Centre for repatriating 18 fishermen who were apprehended in the past few months.