Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in the repatriation of 63 'stranded' Indian fishermen in Saudi Arabia.
In a letter, Jayalalithaa said while 62 fishermen hailed from different districts of the state including Nagapattinam and Cuddalore, the other was from Kerala.
They had gone to Jubail in Saudi Arabia on different dates since 2013 and have informed that the company has not been paying them their share from the fishing catch as per the terms of employment, she said.
"Hence the fishermen are struggling to meet their daily needs and are unable to send money to their dependent families back home," Jayalalithaa said.
"Having lost hope of receiving fair remuneration from their employers, these 63 fishermen requested the company to enable their return to India which was refused by the company.
It is reported that their passports are in the custody of the company which is now neither allowing them to work nor return to India," she said, adding, they were now stranded there.
She requested the Prime Minister to immediately intervene in the matter and direct the Indian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia to take up the issue at the highest level with the authorities there and ensure the immediate repatriation of these "poor, innocent fishermen from Tamil Nadu."
"Further, our authorities in Saudi Arabia should also ensure that necessary steps are taken to enable the fishermen to receive their wages rightfully due to them as per the terms of their contract," she said in the letter, a copy of which was made available to the media on Saturday.
Jayalalithaa requested Modi to take immediate action in the matter "as the families of these poor fishermen from Tamil Nadu are anxious about their safety and are also suffering without any means of livelihood."