Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has sought the intervention of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to secure the release of 41 Tamil Nadu fishermen, who have been in Sri Lankan custody over the past several weeks, and 56 fishing boats, the Times of India reported.
In the latest incident, four fishermen who set sail from Jegathapattinam fishing base in Pudukkottai district on a mechanised boat were apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy on Thursday morning. They were taken to Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka.
“It is very unfortunate that the Sri Lankan authorities are persisting with their aggressive and offensive approach of apprehending Indian fishermen and infringing upon their traditional right to pursue their peaceful livelihood of fishing in the Palk Bay,” Jayalalithaa said in a letter to Modi.
Jayalalithaa said the Centre should act decisively in the light of the sensitive nature of the issue and initiate a calibrated set of actions to end the sufferings of the Indian fishermen.
“The continued incarceration of our fishermen and impounding of their boats in Sri Lanka just as the festive season is beginning is causing great frustration and despondency among the fisherfolk in Tamil Nadu,” the chief minister said, requesting Modi to direct external affairs ministry to take up the matter strongly with the Sri Lankan authorities.