Tamil Diplomat

Indian MP seeks release of fishermen detained by Sri Lanka

Members in India’s Lok Sabha today expressed concern over Sri Lanka detaining fishermen from Tamil Nadu and China building dams on the Brahmaputra river on their side which could hamper water availability in the North East.

AIADMK member V Elumalai demanded immediate release of fishermen from Tamil Nadu who have been detained by Sri Lankan authorities as well as steps to take back Katchatheevu island, PTI reported.

Katchatheevu is an islet in the Palk Strait and its control was given to Sri Lanka by India through an agreement in 1974.

During Zero Hour, he said as many as 37 fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been detained and 53 fishing boats seized.

Last month, eight Indian fishermen were detained by Sri Lanka for allegedly trespassing into their territory.

Urging the central government to continue to take steps for the release of fishermen, Elumalai urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to “bring it (Katchatheevu) into our territory”.

He also called for deepening the fishing area on the Indian coast, according to PTI.

In October, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had written to the Prime Minister raising concern over detention of fishermen by Sri Lanka and had said ceding Katchatheevu islet was the root cause of the problem.

Alleging that China was constructing dams on the Brahmaputra river on their side, Congress member from Arunachal Pradesh Ninong Ering said there should be river water sharing agreement between India and China. Otherwise, the water situation would become bad for the North East region in the future, he added.

“There should be bilateral talks (between India and China) and have some arrangement for river water sharing,” Ering said. (NIE)