Fishermen belonging to the coastal hamlets in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have threatened to boycott the May 16 Assembly polls if the Indian Government does not initiate steps for the release of fishermen arrested by Sri Lanka and also their boats before April 15, the Press Trust of India reported.
The decision was taken at a meeting of various Fishermen Association leaders.
Talking to reporters, Fishermen’s Association President Rajendran said in 2015 alone, about 70 fishermen belonging to various parts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have been arrested by Sri Lanka on the charge of fishing in the island nation’s waters.
He said about 90 fishing boats owned by the fishermen have also been seized by the Sri Lankan authorities last year.
The boats were valued between Indian Rs. 5 lakh to 30 lakh each depending on its size, he said.
If the Centre failed to initiate action for the release of the fishermen and the boats before April 15, the fishermen of all coastal districts of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry would boycott the Assembly polls and launch agitations, he said. (Colombo Gazette)