Business Standard

India taking up issue of 16 detained Tamil Nadu fishermen at highest level

Several MPs from Tamil Nadu have raised the issue, as the detained fishermen were from that state, and sought the government's intervention for their early release and repatriation

Fisherman in the Arabian sea

(Photo: PTI)

Press Trust of India New Delhi
India is taking up at the highest level to bring back all detained fishermen from Sri Lanka along with their boats, including 16 who are currently in their custody.
The Lankan Navy on Thursday had arrested 16 Indian fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu for alleged violation of its maritime boundary. Officials said 12 of the fishermen were picked up while fishing near Katchatheevu and the rest from Gulf of Mannar.
Union Minister of State for External Affairs V Muraleedharan also said in Lok Sabha that the safety and security of every Indian is a matter of utmost importance for the government and it is bringing back every Indian in distress from anywhere in the world.
He said as many as 170 fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan authorities in last two years and all of them, except 16, were brought back from the island nation.
Barring 16, we have brought back all of the fishermen from Sri Lanka. We are continuously working with Sri Lanka to bring back everyone, including the 16 fishermen currently held, he said during Question Hour.
Several MPs from Tamil Nadu have raised the issue, as the detained fishermen were from that state, and sought the government's intervention for their early release and repatriation.
Murleedharan said the government has been taking up at the highest level (in Sri Lanka) the issue of detained fishermen that include 2+2 meeting between Foreign Ministers and Fisheries Ministers of the two countries.
We also have joint working group. The joint working group is meeting today. The Indian High Commission also seeks consular access and provide essential items to the fishermen in custody, he said.
The minister said whenever any issue of detention of fishermen comes up, the government takes up it with the concerned authorities, get consular access, provide provisions to the detained people and take all possible steps for their repatriation along with their boats.
Referring to the recent repatriation of 61 fishermen from Seychelles, Murleedharan said as soon as the government came to know about them 56 of them were from Tamil Nadu while rest were from Assam and Kerala action has been taken and through a series of interventions all of them were freed and brought back home on board an Indian Air Force aircraft.
He also cited the recent evacuation of 22,500 Indians from Ukraine despite difficulties to buttress the point how the government takes care of Indians in distress in foreign lands.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Mar 25 2022 | 2:59 PM IST

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