Fishermen of Nagapattinam taluk on Sunday launched an indefinite strike demanding the release of fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

About 700 fibre boats of Nagapattinam taluk did not venture out.

Last week, 111 fishermen from Nagapattinam and 8 from Jagadapattinam were arrested for allegedly fishing in the territorial waters of Sri Lanka. Twenty-three boats, including eight, from Jagadapattinam were seized.

210 fishermen held by Sri Lanka

According to Thiruvaraiselvan, panchayatar, Akkarapettai fishing hamlet, there were over 210 fishermen, including the recently arrested fishermen, languishing in Sri Lankan jails, and about 70 boats in Sri Lankan custody. “The detention of 47 boats during the earlier arrests of fishermen of Nagapattinam and Karaikal remained unresolved affecting their livelihood. Similarly, there are 171 Sri Lankan fishermen and 31 boats in Indian custody,” says Thiruvaraiselvan.

According to the fishermen, the State and the Centre should declare a date for joint talks at the level of the fishermen of the two countries. Similarly, arrested fishermen of both countries should be released as a goodwill measure. “This will help ease the dialogue process,” says Mr. Thiruvaraiselvan.

Further, the fishermen resolved to widen the taluk-level strike, calling upon the participation of fishermen from the district and Karaikal this week.

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