Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam has urged the central government to take concrete steps to secure the release of 20 fishermen and 75 fishing boats from Sri Lanka's custody.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday, text of which was released to the media here on Wednesday, Panneerselvam cited the arrest of 20 Indian fishermen and the their boats by the Sri Lankan Navy September 27 and 29.
The Chief Minister said: "I request the government of India to take positive and concrete steps to secure the immediate release of 20 fishermen and 75 boats still in custody of the Sri Lankan authorities."
According to Panneerselvam, the fishing boats under the Sri Lankan custody are falling apart from disuse.
"The impending advent of the North East Monsoon mandates their immediate release to prevent further damage and deterioration," Panneerselvam added.
Without naming former chief minister J Jayalalithaa by name, he said: "Due to the untiring and relentless efforts of our beloved leader Puratchi Thalaivi Amma (Jayalalithaa) 76 Indian fishermen languishing in Sri Lankan jails were released by the Sri Lankan court today (Tuesday). Out of these 76 fishermen, 72 are from Tamil Nadu," he said.