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Indian Embassy in touch with Iran for fishermen's release: Muraleedharan

Muraleedharan met relatives of the fishermen from Kerala at a church nearby Anchuthengu and said the External Affairs Ministry

V Muraleedharan

Press Trust of India Thiruvananthapuram

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The Government of India has given the highest priority for securing the release of Indian fishermen detained by Iranian authorities for allegedly entering their waters without permission, Union Minister for External Affairs, V Muraleedharan, said here on Thursday.
Seven fishermen from Kerala, three from Tamil Nadu, and a citizen of an Arab nation who went fishing from Ajman, UAE, were detained by the Iranian Navy a few days ago after they unintentionally crossed over the waters of the Middle East nation.
Muraleedharan met relatives of the fishermen from Kerala at a church nearby Anchuthengu and said the External Affairs Ministry, through the Indian Embassy in Iran, got in touch with Iranian authorities soon after he was informed about the fishermen's custody in Iran.
The minister said the Government of India under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has experience in securing the release of Indian citizens detained by the security agencies of foreign countries for entering international waters.
He said the Indian Government has a permanent solution with Pakistan and Sri Lanka to address such issues, but in the case of Iran, there is no regular system. "We will find a solution", he assured.
He said that the Indian Embassy officials themselves will go and meet the fishermen who have been detained by Iran, and assured the concerned families that they will not be subjected to any physical abuse.
Muraleedharan also assured the relatives of fishermen that a provision for them to talk to their families would also be made available at the earliest.
Out of seven fishermen from Kerala, five are from Anchuthengu in Thiruvananthapuram district, and two are from Paravur in Kollam district.
The fishermen who went out for fishing from Ajman in the Gulf lost their way and entered Iranian waters. They were reportedly taken into custody by Iran on Monday.
As per the information received by the families, these fishermen have been imprisoned in Iran and have been shifted to different prisons.
The families also alleged that the fishermen had been beaten up in custody.
Anitha, wife of detained fisherman Stanley Washington, appealed to the Indian government authorities to save the fishermen from Iranian custody.
"My husband and 10 other fishermen left for fishing from Ajman, and we got a call from him on Monday saying that they were detained by the Iranian Navy. Then we got a message that they were put in an Iranian prison and tortured. We request the authorities to intervene and save them. They do not even know the language and have been shifted from one prison to another three times already," she said.
Agnes, wife of another fisherman, namely Saju George, said her husband had been working in Ajman for the last 28 years, and he called her to inform her that they, along with one Arab, had been detained by the Iranian navy.
"This is the first time such a thing happened, as they lost their way and entered Iranian territory. We request the authorities intervene in the matter and save them," she said.

(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: Jun 29 2023 | 5:35 PM IST

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