CHENNAI: Pointing out that the 21 fishermen from the State reportedly stranded in Iran were neither allowed to return to their homeland nor continue fishing, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami on Thursday sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to repatriate them.
In a letter to Modi, he said, “I request you to direct the Embassy of India in Iran to take all measures to ensure the immediate repatriation of these poor innocent Indian fishermen.”
“Necessary steps may also be taken to ensure that the fishermen receive their just and due wages,” he said. He stressed the need for immediate action in the matter as the families and dependents were anxious about the safety and early return of the fishermen.
These fishermen were struggling to make their ends meet as well as unable to send money to their families back home because the Iranian employers did not pay them their share as per the terms of employment, he said.
After losing hope of receiving a fair remuneration, they had urged their employers to send them back to India, but the plea was refused and their passports were reportedly kept in custody of the employers, the Chief Minister said.
He said,”The employer chased the fishermen out of their accommodation and abandoned them in the streets without shelter, food and security.”
According to the Chief Minister, eight of the stranded fishermen were from Kanniyakumari district, seven from Tirunelveli and six from Thoothukudi district and were engaged in fishing by their Iranian employers Mohammed Sallah and his brothers for more than six months.
In deep sea
These fishermen were struggling to make their ends meet as well as unable to send money to their families back home because the Iranian employers did not pay them their share as per the terms of employment, the Chief Minister said.