OPS writes to Centre for release of TN fishermen in Lankan custody

by IANS |

Chennai, March 13 (IANS) Deposed coordinator of AIADMK and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam (OPS) on Monday sought the External Affairs minister's intervention in securing the release of 16 fishermen of the state who are in custody of the Sri Lankan navy.

In a letter, the former Chief Minister wanted the Union Minister S. Jaishankar to intervene for the immediate release of the fishermen who were taken in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy along with their mechanised boats and other belongings.

It is to be noted that 12 fishermen from the Akkaraipettai base in Nagapattinam district of Tamil Nadu had ventured into the sea in a mechanised trawler bearing no IND- TN-06MM 7818 and four fishermen had set off from Kottaipattanam in Pudukottai district in a mechanised trawler bearing no IND- TN- 08 MM 081.

OPS in the letter to Jaishankar said that the fishermen were within Indian waters and the Sri Lankan Navy had arrested them citing that they had crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

"The instances of apprehension of our fishermen continue unabated and are creating a sense of fear, worry and turmoil among the fishermen community in Tamil Nadu. Denying our fishermen the right to peaceful fishing in their traditional waters is causing considerable annoyance amongst the fisherfolk of Tamil Nadu," the letter read.

The senior leader said that the fishermen of Tamil Nadu venture out into the sea in constant fear that they would be attacked by the Sri Lankan Navy.

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