Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalitha has made an appeal to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to intervene personally to secure the release of 104 Tamil Nadu fishermen and 66 fishing vessels in Sri Lankan custody.
The letter states: “I write to bring to your notice four incidents that have occurred in rapid succession in the last 24 hours in which 20 fishermen in four mechanized fishing boats have been arrested and detained. With this, the total number of fishermen from Tamil Nadu in Sri Lankan custody has reached 104.
It is very regrettable that many of these fishermen have continued to be kept in custody for several weeks now and were unable to spend the festive season with their families. In addition, there are now 66 fishing vessels with gear in Sri Lankan custody, including the boats of fishermen released many months ago.
The continued incarceration of the fishermen and their boats for extended periods and the apparent lack of any serious effort on behalf of the government of India to obtain their early release has contributed in no small measure to the sense of despondency amongst the coastal fishermen community.’