Chennai: A couple of days after the Sri Lankan Navy detained 24 Indian fishers, the mechanised boat fishermen of Jagadapattinam coastal village in Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai district on Wednesday staged a protest by blocking roads in the area demanding their release.
Chief Minister M.K. Stalin has already sought the intervention of Ministry of External Affairs for the release of the fishermen.
The expensive mechanised boats of the fishermen are also in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.
Fishermen from Jagadapattinam coast in the Pudukkottai district of Tamil Nadu were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) while they were fishing.
The Sri Lankan Navy charged that the Indian fishermen had crossed into the Sri Lankan waters and were fishing inside their territory and hence the arrest.
Fishermen association of Pudukottai are protesting on the streets with women and children in tow and have demanded both the state and central governments to immediately act for the release of their brethren.
The fishermen have urged the Ministry of External Affairs, the Government of India, and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to take the matter up with the Sri Lankan government and to ensure the release of the fishermen in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.
R. Rajesh Kumar, a fisherman from Jagadapattinam, Pudukottai while speaking to IANS said, “We are suffering losses due to these arrests and incarceration by the Sri Lankan navy. The costly mechanised boats seized by the Navy later rusts in their custody and we become liable to the banks from where we had taken loans for buying these boats. The Government of India must act and bring about a permanent solution to the issue which is taking a toll on our nerves. Many are on the verge of a nervous breakdown and we appeal to the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and Union External Affairs minister, Jaishankar to wake up for our cause.”