Jaya urges PM to take up fishermen issue again

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Friday urged the Centre to take measures to release 97 Indian fishermen kept in custody in the neighbouring Sri Lanka.

“May I again exhort you to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan Government and arrange for the immediate release of all the 97 fishermen of Tamil Nadu now in Sri Lanka’s custody, along with their boats?” she said in a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. She said the 97 fishermen were arrested on different dates and are languishing in Lankan jails.

“21 fishermen are going through the process of deportation and are yet to return home. 20 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen have also not been released by the Sri Lankan Government. This harsh and belligerent treatment is directed at denying our fishermen their livelihood and to demoralize them and their dependents,” Jayalalithaa said.

She said the Lankan government is adopting a new strategy by which it releases the Indian fishermen after long periods of detention but impound their boats which without maintenance becomes unseaworthy.

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