Chennai: A group of 26 fishermen, 24 from Tamil Nadu and one each from Yanam and Kerala have been detained by Bangladeshi authorities and an appeal to bring them back has been made to the State and Union governments, an NGO for fishermen welfare has said.
"The fishermen went for fishing in three fishing boats from Bettuagad near Kolkata and they were taken into custody by Bangladeshi authorities yesterday," President, Tamil Nadu Fishermen Development Trust, P Justin Antony told PTI.
They had set sail on November 17 and were scheduled to return only by December 16.
The fishermen, after registering their three boats "Ave Maria, Annai and Sea Mary," with West Bengal fisheries authorities had been engaged in fishing activities off the coast in that State, he said.
There were ten fishermen (including one from Yanam) in the boat of Seba, nine in the boat of Rajan and seven in the boat of Selvan (including one from Kerala). All fishermen from Tamil Nadu hail from Kanyakumari District.
Assistant Director of Fisheries (Colachel, Kanyakumari District), V Yoganathan said "the government was aware of it and appropriate action is being taken."
Asked if the detention of fishermen by authorities in Bangladesh was confirmed, he said he managed to speak over phone to a fisherman, Sekar, who hails from Tamil Nadu.
President of India, Pranab Mukherjee, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Panneerselvam have been appealed to rescue the fishermen, he added.