Chennai, March 7 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene personally and secure the release of Indian fishermen from Lankan custody.
In a letter to Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa requested the former’s personal intervention to issue instructions to the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with Sri Lanka and secure the release of 64 Indian fishermen and 77 fishing boats.
“There is an urgent and imperative need to ensure that our fishermen are not arrested and abducted on the high seas. Proactive action needs to be initiated at the highest level to ensure a permanent solution to this sensitive issue that plagues the livelihoods of thousands of Tamil Nadu fishermen,” she said.
Jayalalithaa drew Modi’s attention to the apprehension of 29 Indian fishermen and their four fishing craft from near Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday.
A narrow strip of sea divides India and Sri Lanka. Indian fishermen are arrested by the Lankan Navy on the charge that they fish in Lankan waters.
Sri Lanka continues to keep the apprehended Indian fishing boats even though it releases the fishermen.