'Take up Indian fishermen's release with Sri Lanka'

Chennai, Sep 13 : Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Friday urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to take up with Sri Lanka the release of 97 Indian fishermen in custody there.

In a letter to Manmohan Singh, Jayalalithaa said: "May I exhort you to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan government and arrange for the immediate release of all the 97 fishermen of Tamil Nadu, now in Sri Lanka's custody, along with their boats?"

She said the 97 fishermen were arrested on different dates and are languishing in Sri Lankan jails.

"While 21 fishermen are going through the process of deportation and are yet to return home, the Sri Lankan government has not released 20 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen. This belligerent treatment is directed at denying our fishermen their livelihood and to demoralise them and their dependents," Jayalalithaa said.

She said the Sri Lankan government is adopting a new strategy by which it releases the Indian fishermen after long periods of detention but impound their boats.

--IANS (Posted on 14-09-2013)

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