Chennai, Sep 2 IANS | 3 months ago

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Tuesday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take up with Sri Lanka's highest authorities the issue of arrest of Indian fishermen.

In a letter to Modi, the text of which was released to the media here, she said: "The alarmingly increasing frequency of apprehension of our fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy is a matter of utmost concern for my government. An immediate intervention at the highest level is sought to resolve this long-standing issue."

"I urge you to take this up with the highest authorities of the Sri Lankan government and ensure the immediate release of the 15 fishermen now apprehended and all the 63 boats in their custody," Jayalalithaa said in her letter.

She said the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 15 fishermen Sep 1 and 2 while they were fishing in the traditional waters.

Referring to the non-release of apprehended fishing boats belonging to Indian fishermen, Jayalalithaa said the "inhumane" and "cruel strategy" was causing great loss to the livelihood of the fishermen and their families.

Citing an interview to the media by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy, Jayalalithaa said his statement has given rise to resentment and angst not only among the fishermen community but also among the entire population of Tamil Nadu.

According to her, Swamy said it was he who had advised the Sri Lankan government not to release the boats of the Tamil Nadu fishermen.

"I am confident that these are not the official views of your party or of the government of India," Jayalalithaa said.

(Posted on 03-09-2014)

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