Chennai, Nov 30 (BPNS)
Mechanized boat fishermen of Jagadapattinam coastal village in Pudkottai village have commenced a strike and blocking of roads in the area after 24 fishermen from the coast were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on Monday.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, M.K. Stalin has already written to the Ministry of External Affairs to immediately involve in the matter and to get the release of the 24 fishermen from the area. It may be noted that the costly mechanized boats of the fishermen are also in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.
The fishermen from Jagadapattinam coast in the Pudukottai 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 from Pudukottai had crossed into the Sri Lankan waters and that they were fishing from inside Sri Lankan 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 BPNS said, “ We are losing heavily due to these arrests and incarceration by the Sri Lankan navy. The costly mechanized boats seized by the Navy later rust in their custody and we have 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.”