The Indian Embassy in Tehran has requested the Iranian authorities permission to meet the 19 Indian fishermen – 16 from Tamil Nadu and three from Kerala – languishing in an Iran jail since December last, when they were arrested for crossing the maritime border after setting out for fishing from the Saudi port city of Jubail.

After searching in vain for the fishermen in two prisons, the Embassy has asked permission to visit Ahwas jail in Abdan district in Iran. The authorities are likely to give permission in couple of days, according to Shamsudheen Chettippadi, a social activist with the Kerala Muslim Cultural Center in Jubail.

Responding to an email, Mr Chettippadi, who was on a brief visit to Kerala, told The Hindu over phone that the Indian fishermen were presumably lodged in Ahwas jail, as Mohammed Kassim, one of the three Kerala fishermen, had called up his relatives two days ago.”

He was planning to visit Kassim’s relatives to get more details before leaving for Jubail on August 30, Mr Chettippadi said. Fishermen hailing from Tamil Nadu should also be in the same jail, as they were arrested together when they were sailing in four boats, he said.

Meanwhile, family members of arrested fishermen hailing from Thirupalaikudi near here heaved a sigh of relief as Kalikannadasan, one of the four fishermen from this hamlet had called his mother early this month, Malaimurugan, father of Mayakrishnan, the other fisherman in the jail said. This was the first call in eight months, he told The Hindu.

He said the 19 fishermen were languishing in jail as they could not pay the penalty of $5,750 each imposed on them.

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