The National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) in India has appealed to Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to take efforts to release 40 Indian fishermen who have been languishing in the prisons of Sri Lanka, The Hindu newspaper reported.
N.Elango, chairperson of the National Fishworkers’ Forum drew the attention of the Union Minister on the information given by Union Minister of State V.K. Singh on the floor of the Rajya Sabha on July 23.
Elango pointed out Singh stated that 14 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on June 1 on the ground that they had been fishing in Sri Lankan waters. Three of their fishing boats had been confiscated.
The Minister had also said the all diplomatic efforts had been made by the ministry to get the 14 fishermen and the 3 boats released.
Elango also pointed out that the number of fishermen arrested on June 1 were 14 and 26 were detained on June 17.
He added that while 114 fishermen arrested since February 27 have been released, their 31 boats are still in the custody of the Sri Lankan Government.
In memorandum to the External Affairs Minister, Elango also urged her to appeal to the Sri Lankan Government to release not only the 40 fishermen and their 3 boats but also the 31 boats of the fishermen released earlier.