Tamil Nadu Chief Minister and chief of the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) party, J. Jayalalithaa, on Monday wrote a letter to Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh, urging the Centre "arrange for the immediate release of the 23 Rameshwaram fishermen to Tamil Nadu along with their 5 boats."
The Sri Lankan navy, on Sunday, arrested 23 fishermen the sea off Katchatheevu, and seized their mechanised boats. The fishermen have been sent to jail in Thalaimannar for about two weeks.
Jayalalithaa accused the Sri Lankan navy of regularly harassing the Indian fishermen, "especially after the end of the fishing ban period," adding, that the island nation is trying to "instill fear in the minds of the fishermen to prevent them from fishing in their traditional waters."
Taking a dig at Sri Lanka, Jayalalithaa said that "the Sri Lankan Navy temporarily suspends apprehension and harassment activities only at times when diplomatic level meetings are convened between India and Sri Lanka on the fishing issue and resumes such activities immediately thereafter, much to the woe of our fishermen. It is impossible for the fishermen to conduct fishing which is the only occupation they know for the sustenance of their families." (ANI)