NAGPATTINAM: 23 fishermen from Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Wednesday for allegedly crossing the Indian Maritime Borderline, have been remanded in judicial custody till October 28. Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to the Prime Minister seeking intervention into the matter.
“The fishermen were subjected to a Covid test, produced before a court in Point Pedro (Parutthithurai) and remanded to judicial custody in a naval base near Karai Nagar in Jaffna,” an official from the Fisheries Department said. It is the first time since the pandemic that Sri Lankan authorities are remanding detained Nagapattinam fishermen, the official added.
The fishermen were identified as K Agathiyan, M Sivaraj Kumar, A Sivasakthivel, S Sambath, R Kanthan, R Murugan, N Arumugam, V Vinith, K Vijayendran, V Veerakumar, K Sudhakar, Thanarajan, Sivanesan, K Kuttiyandi, V Veersekar, K Amirthaselvam, K ilangovan, J Pandiyaraj, R Uthirapathi, J Thamizhavanan, V Ravi, R Saminathan and M Kumar. At least 15 of them hail from Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam district.
The Sri Lankan authorities said the fishermen, in their two mechanised trawlers, were fishing in their territorial waters near Point Pedro. The Sri Lankan authorities have impounded the boats and taken them to Myliddy harbour in Jaffna. Fisher-representative RMP Rajendra Nattar has urged the government to take speedy steps to release fishermen and their boats.
Tamil Nadu’s Special Representative to New Delhi, AKS Vijayan, said the State would urge the Centre to put pressure on the Sri Lankan government to release the fishermen.