Stalin asks MEA to ensure release of Indian fishermen caught in Indonesia, Seychelles

While eight Indian fishermen are in custody in Indonesia, 33 others have been captured by Seychelles authorities, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Stalin said.
Fishing boat at sea
Fishing boat at sea
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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday, March 10, wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar seeking his personal intervention in securing the release of Indian fishermen arrested by the Indonesian and Seychelles authorities. In a letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, CM Stalin said five fishermen from Tamil Nadu and three others from Kerala were apprehended by the Indonesian air and sea police for allegedly entering into their territorial waters. They were taken to Ditpolairud Pier, Aceh, in Indonesia for legal proceedings, he said. These fishermen had ventured for fishing on February 17 in an Andaman registered fishing vessel, the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister said.

As many as 33 other fishermen had set sail for fishing from Kochi on February 22 in three Tamil Nadu registered mechanised fishing boats. On March 7, they were apprehended by the Seychelles authorities for allegedly entering into Seychelles waters, Stalin said.

"I request your personal intervention in this matter and request you to take this up with the Indonesian and Seychelles authorities so as to secure the immediate release of the fishermen and their fishing boats," Stalin said.

According to IANS, President of the International Fishermen Development Trust (Infidet) Justin Antony, in a memorandum to President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, had stated that 32 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and one from Thiruvananthapuram were detained in Seychelles.

He had said that three boats with the Indian fishermen had drifted into the waters of Seychelles due to bad weather. Seychelles is around 2,700 km from Kochi, he added. The captains of the three boats were taken to the police station in Seychelles, while the fishermen were detained in their boats, Antony said and added that the Indian consular office is already assisting the fishermen and providing necessary support to them. According to information available, Seychelles authorities have provided food and drinking water to the fishermen.

South Asian Fishermen Fraternity General secretary Charles said that eight fishermen – five from Kanniyakumari district in Tamil Nadu and three from Thiruvananthapuram of Kerala, are detained in Indonesia for drifting into the waters of that country, in another incident.

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