Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Friday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention in securing the release of 23 fishermen of the State, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, and demanded a lasting solution to the issue concerning them.
In a letter to the Prime Minister a copy of which was released to the press, Stalin said the fishermen set out to sea from Nagapattinam on October 11, got arrested by the Navy near the traditional fishing base of Point Pedro on October 13 and taken to Karainagar naval base where they were detained. This is highly reprehensible, Stalin said.
He urged the Prime Minister to immediately intervene and take steps to permanently end the long-standing dispute between the Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen, an official press release from the Tamil Nadu government said. The Chief Minister asked Modi to take up the issue with the Sri Lankan authorities at the diplomats-level and ensure the freedom of the 23 fishermen.
The continued attacks on innocent fishermen of Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan navy are a matter of grave concern, he said.
According to reports, on October 11, 23 fishermen from Nagapattinam were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy for crossing the maritime border. They were in two mechanised boats when they were surrounded by the naval officers who informed them that they had crossed the borders. The fishers were then arrested and then sent to the Kankesanthurai naval camp in Sri Lanka.
Following the arrests, fishermen from Nagapattinam sought help from the state government to get the arrested fishers released. They added that the fishing community was already reeling under financial distress induced by the COVID-19 pandemic and that work had only picked up recently.
In August 2021, fishers from the Mandapam port in Ramanathapuram district accused the Sri Lankan navy of attacking them with stones. The incident took place in the Palk Strait area between India's Rameswaram and Sri Lanka's Palk Strait.