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Free 40 Indian fishermen, Jayalalithaa tells Colombo

Posted on Dec 05, 10:13PM | IANS

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Wednesday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to tell Sri Lanka to immediately release the 40 Indian fishermen from jails there.

In an open letter to Manmohan Singh, she said 22 of the fishermen were from Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and 18 from Karaikal in Puducherry. They were reportedly caught by the Sri Lanka Navy Dec 3.

"The fishing boats and fishermen were reportedly taken to the Trincomalee harbour and it is learnt they have now been remanded till Dec 10. The Indian Navy has confirmed the arrests," she said.

Expressing her "deep pain" over such incidents, Jayalalithaa said that when Sri Lankan fishermen entered Indian waters, they were only warned and sent back.

She said the Sri Lankan authorities should reciprocate the gesture and release the detained Tamil Nadu fishermen.

"The action of the Sri Lankan Navy in detaining our fishermen will only escalate the tensions between the two countries," Jayalalithaa added.