CHENNAI: BJP state president K Annamalai on Sunday wrote a letter to Union Minister for External Affairs S Jaishankar, seeking his intervention to repatriate 16 Tamil Nadu fishermen from Sri Lanka. Leader of Dravida Kazhagam K Veeramani has also joined the issue and demanded the Centre to act swiftly to bring back the fishermen, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of trespassing.
“We bring to your attention yesterday’s arrest of 16 fishermen from Pudukkottai and Nagapatiinam by the Sri Lankan Navy. Two fishing boats belonging to them have also been seized during the arrest,” said Annamalai in his letter to the Union Minister. He requested the intervention of the EAM for the early reparation of the detainees.
Meanwhile, Veeramani said that nearly 600 fishermen ventured into sea in 172 mechanised vessels. Of them, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested Arockiaraj and 15 other fishermen during the early hours of Sunday when they were fishing near Alai Theevu. The Sri Lankan Navy has also confiscated Arockiaraj’s vessel and belongings.
The Centre and state governments must take appropriate steps to bring them back, he said in a statement.
He condemned the Union government for failing to protect the interest of the Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were frequently arrested by the Navy of the island nation, and said that they would organise a conference at Jagathapattinam on April 14 demanding the Centre to find a permanent solution to the issue. He invited all political parties and representatives of the fishermen communities in the state to participate in the conference to emphasize on a permanent solution to the issue.
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