The Sri Lankan Navy had in March arrested 12 Tamil Nadu fishermen, and their bail amount has been fixed at Rs 1 crore each.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin
news Politics Friday, April 15, 2022 - 19:52

After a Sri Lankan court fixed the bail amount for releasing 12 arrested Indian fishermen at Rs 1 crore (or LKR 2 crore) each, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to the External Affairs Ministry, stating that the families would “never be able” to afford this amount. On May 23, about 12 fishermen from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for fishing in their waters, and they continue to languish in jail.

In his letter, CM Stalin began by highlighting that the Tamil Nadu government is willing to provide support to Sri Lankan Tamils, and that the state has been receiving Sri Lankans fleeing the devastating economic crisis there. The CM then spoke about the 12 arrested Indians. “The Killinochi court that tried the case has adjourned the case to 12th May, 2022 with the instruction that the fishermen could be released on bail on a personal bond of LKR 2 crore per person. As this is a prohibitive amount, the fishermen can never furnish the same,” CM Stalin’s letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stated.

Read: Sri Lanka crisis: Tamil Nadu ready to ship rice and drugs, Stalin tells Union govt

The letter further sought the External Affairs Minister’s “urgent intervention” in the matter, and also requested legal support to be provided to the fishermen, so that their freedom could be secured. Earlier, when news of the Sri Lankan court setting the exorbitant bail amount emerged, several stakeholders and politicians had hit out against them. "We are shocked to hear that a court has fixed Rs 1 crore per fisherman as the bail amount for release. How can a fisherman raise Rs 1 crore? If he had such an amount he wouldn't be in this profession," P Jesuraj, President, All Mechanised Boat Association had told IANS.

Read: Sri Lankan court asks India to pay Rs 1 crore each for release of TN fishermen

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