New Delhi: Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Wednesday said that he will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convey the concerns expressed by the fishermen community over death penalty awarded by a Sri Lankan court to five Indian fishermen for alleged drug trafficking.
"They (the fishermen community) have expressed their sentiments to me and I will take their case forward to the PM and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj," Gadkari, who holds the charge of Road Transport, Shipping and Rural Development ministeries, told reporters here.
The five fishermen, all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were apprehended in 2011 by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of smuggling of drugs. They were given death penalty by a Sri Lankan court last month.
External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had earlier said, "India's High Commission in Colombo will appeal to a higher court through a lawyer against the judgement of the lower court against these five Indian fishermen."
He had also said that India has been pursuing the case at both levels--legal and official--and will continue to do so.
India's envoy to Sri Lanka Y K Sinha visited them in jail yesterday and assured them of the government's support to secure their release and repatriation.