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In the wake of the recent arrests of 9 fishermen from the State by the Sri Lankan Navy, Chief Minister Jayalalithaa on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to personally intervene in the issue and secure the release of all 15 fishermen, presently in Lankan custody.

“I urge your personal intervention to prevent the aggravation that the Sri Lankan authorities and (its) Navy are causing to our fishermen. I specifically request you to direct the Ministry of External Affairs to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan authorities urgently and secure the immediate release..,” her letter to Mr. Modi, released to the press stated.

Though all fishermen from the State, who were arrested during 2015 were released following her “repeated requests and the government of India’s efforts”, their boats were still in the Sri Lankan custody, she stated and pressed for their release too.

Ms. Jayalalithaa urged the Centre to sanction the comprehensive financial package she had requested. She cited reports which stated that 5 fishermen in a boat from Jegathapattinam and four in another boat from Kottaipattinam – both in Pudukkottai district, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on January 30 and were taken to Kankesanthurai in Sri Lanka. (The Hindu)