interfere immediately to secure release of 43 fishermen, Jayalalithaa exhort Modi
Taking exception to the latest instances of arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s immediate intervention to secure the release of the 43 Indian fishermen and 55 fishing boats.
In her letter sent to Mr Modi on Tuesday, the Chief Minister said “the instances of apprehension of our fishermen continue unabated and are creating a sense of fear, anxiety and unrest among the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu,” she said, adding that the 43 fishermen were apprehended in three separate incidents on July 16 and 21 along with their nine fishing boats.
Appreciating the Union government for “prompt action from time to time to secure the release of 225 fishermen from Sri Lankan custody,” Ms Jayalalithaa stated that their 46 fishing boats continued to stay impounded. “This deliberate strategy of the Sri Lankan Government to destroy the primary means of livelihood of our fishermen is condemnable.”
Referring to her letter written on Monday, she requested the Centre to initiate decisive measures along the lines suggested by her to find a permanent solution to the livelihood issue of the fishermen. She also reiterated the State government’s its “firm commitment to the restoration of traditional fishing rights of our fishermen in the Palk Bay and the retrieval of Katchatheevu which had been an integral part of India since time immemorial.” The Central government should also not treat the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) with Sri Lanka a settled question as the constitutionality of the 1974 and 1976 agreements had been challenged, she added.