Concerned over the recent detention of fishermen from Tamil Nadu in Sri Lanka,Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa Monday urged the Prime Minister to take up the matter with the Colombo to secure their release.
Around midnight on Saturday,23 fishermen on board five fishing boats were arrested by the Lankan Navy near Katchatheevu islet.
They were presented before a court Monday and remanded them in 15 days custody. This is the second such incident in a fortnight.
Later in the day,Jayalalithaa wrote to PM Manmohan Singh,requesting him to arrange for the immediate release of the men and their boats. She urged Singh to take up the issue with the Sri Lankan government and request it to instruct its Navy to refrain from arresting fishermen who conduct fishing in their traditional waters for eking out their livelihood.
Unless the Government of India intervenes in this issue there is every possibility of recurrence of such incidents in coming months…, she wrote. The Sri Lankan Navy temporarily suspends apprehension and harassment activities at times when diplomatic level meetings are convened between India and Sri Lanka on the fishing issue and resumes such activities immediately thereafter.
Meanwhile,fishermen in the area said they would keep off the sea from Monday to protest against the arrests.