Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to secure the release of nine Indian fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan navy on January 30.
In letter to Modi, Jayalalithaa said: “I urge your personal intervention to prevent the aggravation that the Sri Lankan authorities and navy are causing to our fishermen.”
She requested Modi to direct the external affairs ministry to take up the matter with Sri Lankan authorities urgently and secure the release of the 15 fishermen and 69 fishing boats in Sri Lankan custody.
These include the nine fishermen and their two fishing boats seized on January 30.
India and Sri Lanka are divided by a narrow strip of sea, and Sri Lankan authorities routinely arrest fishermen from Tamil Nadu who they say fish in the island nation’s waters. Fishing boats are also seized.
In November 2015, Sri Lanka released 126 Indian fishermen held for allegedly fishing illegally in the country’s waters. Lankan Fisheries Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that although the fishermen will be released their equipment will remain confiscated.