To release fishermen held in Seychelles, Indonesia, Stalin writes to MEA

Published on Mar 10, 2022 06:01 PM IST

The fishermen had ventured out into the ocean for fishing on February 17 in a fishing vessel that had an Andaman registration number.

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday wrote to external affairs minister S Jaishankar urging him to intervene with the authorities in Indonesia and Seychelles over fishermen who had been arrested in the territorial waters of those countries. (PTI PHOTO.)
Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday wrote to external affairs minister S Jaishankar urging him to intervene with the authorities in Indonesia and Seychelles over fishermen who had been arrested in the territorial waters of those countries. (PTI PHOTO.)

Tamil Nadu chief minister M K Stalin on Thursday wrote to external affairs minister S Jaishankar urging him to personally intervene with the authorities in Indonesia and Seychelles over a few fishermen who had been arrested in those countries.

The Tamil Nadu CM claimed that five fishermen belonging to the southern state and another three from Kerala were apprehended by the Indonesian Air and Sea Police on charges of entering Indonesian waters. They were taken to Ditpolairud Pier, Aceh, Indonesia for legal proceedings, 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 in a statement.

The fishermen had ventured out into the ocean for fishing on February 17 in a fishing vessel that had an Andaman registration number.

According to the Fishermen Association, 33 fishermen and three registered mechanised fishing boats had ventured out from the Cochin Harbour in Kerala on February 22.

On March 7, they were apprehended by the Seychelles authorities for allegedly entering the territorial waters of Seychelles.

Since the ruling DMK came to power in May 2021, Stalin has written at least a dozen letters to Jaishankar and to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to draw their attention to the issue of Tamil fishermen being apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy. He has also raised concerns over the “alarming frequency” with which the state’s fishermen were harassed, attacked and detained and has demanded their release.

“It continues despite several letters having been sent from the Government of Tamil Nadu highlighting the escalation of such instances of harassment and the arrest of our fishermen,” Stalin had written in his letter to PM Modi on February 28.

“The repeated attempts by the Sri Lankan Navy to infringe on historic fishing rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay have to be permanently ended through concerted efforts by the Government of India,” the letter read.

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