CHENNAI: The Chief Minister O Panneerselvam on Tuesday took strong exception to the inhumane act of the Sri Lankan Navy arresting 10 distressed Ramanathapuram district fishermen on a stalled boat in mid-sea. With this arrest, Sri Lanka had 35 fishermen in custody and the number of seized boats 120.
OPS, in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urged him to ensure the immediate release of these fishermen and their boats. In particular, the 10 fishermen held on Tuesday should be freed on humanitarian grounds without filing any case.
OPS said the boat in which seven fishermen were had a technical snag and the boat was drifting in mid-sea. Three fishermen from another boat boarded the stranded vessel to set the engine defect right when all the 10 were arrested by the Lankan Navy.
“This is an instance where our fishermen on a boat in distress have been arrested. This is an unacceptable and inhumane act,” the Chief Minister added.
OPS said long periods of disuse of boats seized by Sri Lanka and the onslaught of monsoon during the past two years would have caused heavy damage to the impounded boats and equipment. He said the boats should be released and restored by the Centre soon.
Meanwhile, the AIADMK general secretary VK Sasikala also wrote a letter to the Prime Minister on this problem.