CHENNAI: Expressing concern over the arrest of 15 more fishermen along with their boats by Lankan Navy on November 25 and on Thursday, Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s immediate intervention to secure the release of 33 fishermen and 53 boats under Lankan custody without any delay. She made a specific request to the Prime Minister to ensure the release of the boats, the livelihood resource of fishermen.
“The attacks on fishermen and apprehension of our fishermen continue unabated, creating a sense of fear and unrest among the fisherfolk in Tamil Nadu”, the CM said in her letter to PM.
“It is highly disheartening that the only means of livelihood of several fishermen has been left without care and exposed to adverse weather conditions along the coast of Sri Lanka. It is imperative that the issue of the release of these boats is taken up with the highest levels of the Lankan administration and the immediate release of these boats is ensured”, she added.
She said the poor fishermen were peacefully following their avocation of fishing in the Palk Bay which historically was their traditional fishing waters. “The issue of the IMBL is sub judice in the Supreme Court, wherein the validity of the Indo-Lankan agreements of 1974 and 1976, ceding the islet of Katchatheevu to Lanka, had been challenged by her and Tamil Nadu,” she added.