A delegation of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, led by DMK parliamentary party leader T R Baalu, today met External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid seeking his intervention to ensure release of Indian fishermen jailed in Sri Lanka.
According to Baalu, the delegation sought the release of 227 fishermen and 77 boats, detained in the island nation. They also demanded steps for convening a proposed meeting between fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka to resolve the existing issues over fishing, he added. "We expect that the meeting would be held in India by the third week of January. It may be convened either in Chennai or New Delhi," he stated.
To a query on Khurshid's response, Baalu said the minister had stated that the issue has been taken up with the Lankan Government.
It may be recalled that fishermen of over 54 hamlets at Nagapattinam district in Tamil Nadu launched an indefinite fast on December 21 in protest against arrest of their counterparts by Sri Lankan Navy. The protest was called off later.
The fishermen had been demanding immediate release of fishermen of Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts of Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in the Union Territory of Puducherry, detained by Lankan Navy over the past few months.