Tamil Nadu

CM seeks Modi’s intervention as fishermen’s protest persists

Fishermen hoisted white flags on their boats in Rameswaram on Tuesday.  

Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Tuesday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to secure the immediate release of Tamil Nadu fishermen from Sri Lankan jails and their boats, even as the strike by Rameswaram fishermen entered the sixth day.

Deploring the latest arrest by the Sri Lankan Navy of 50 fishermen from Nagapattinam in the early hours of the day, she urged Mr. Modi, in a letter, to take steps at the highest diplomatic level to facilitate the release of 93 Tamil Nadu fishermen, including 43 arrested earlier, and 62 boats seized from them.

‘Callous design’

Recalling how the Centre had acted promptly on earlier occasions to secure the release of 225 fishermen, she said: “As part of a deliberate and callous design, Sri Lanka is yet to release the 55 boats and fishing gear.”

This was causing “considerable disquiet and unrest” among the fishermen in the coastal districts.

Meanwhile, the fishermen at Rameswaram, who have planned to sail to Sri Lanka on August 2, tied white flags to their boats and staged a protest against the arrest of Nagapattinam fishermen.

Fishermen leader Sesu Raja said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during his Lok Sabha poll campaign, promised us many things. We believed him. But, today, we are standing like orphans.”

“If we go for fishing, the Sri Lankan Navy arrests us, claiming that we have entered their waters. Now, the Centre shall decide on what we shall do for our survival,” he said.

Other leaders who spoke at the protest alleged that the Sri Lankan Navy was out to destroy the livelihood of fishermen.

“First, they arrested fishermen from Rameswaram. Next was the turn of those from Pamban. Now, they have arrested our men from Nagapattinam. And the Union government doesn’t seem to be in a hurry to get them released,” Mr. Sesu Raja said.

The Centre’s stoic silence “reminds us of the previous UPA regime [‘s approach to the issue]’’, the leaders said.

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Printable version | Dec 2, 2021 9:45:26 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/cm-seeks-modis-intervention-as-fishermens-protest-persists/article6261738.ece

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