Political parties in Tamil Nadu have sought India’s immediate intervention to secure the release of five Rameshwaram fishermen who were awarded the death sentence by the Colombo High Court in a narcotics case.
MDMK general secretary Vaiko said the fishermen were first arrested on the charge of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), but were later charged with narcotics smuggling.
Ironically, this is the first time since 1934 a Sri Lankan court had awarded the death sentence, he said. Mr. Vaiko, whose party is an ally of the ruling NDA at the Centre, said the Narendra Modi government surpassed the previous Congress-led UPA in its hatred for Sri Lankan Tamils.
BJP State president Tamilisai Soundararajan said the Tamils and fishermen were convinced that it was a fabricated case. That there was time till November 14 for appeal was of little consolation, she said.
The CPI(M) State executive committee has urged the Centre to help the fishermen appeal the sentence and work to securing their release.