Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa Monday requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to urge the Sri Lankan government to release 16 Indian fishermen and their three boats in Sri Lankan custody.
In a letter to Manmohan Singh, the text of which was released to the media here, Jayalalithaa said: "I wish to inform you that 16 fishermen from Thoothukudi district of Tamil Nadu, who were engaged in fishing in the Gulf of Mannar in three mechanized fishing boats bearing registration numbers TN/12/MFB/429, TN/12/MFB/431 and TN/12/MFB/003, are reported to have been apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy in the early hours of March 3.
"The fishing boats and fishermen were reportedly taken to Kalpitiya police station for further investigation and it is learnt that they have been produced in court," she said.
Expressing her pain at the harassment of innocent Indian fishermen being apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy, Jayalalithaa said the regular occurrence of such events is creating a feeling of insecurity and fear among the fishermen community.
She requested the prime minister to urge the Sri Lankan authorities to immediately release the 16 fishermen with their three boats without filing any cases against them.