Chennai: Drawing Centre's attention to the "pathetic plight" of 22 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in Saudi Arabia, the state government on Friday sought its intervention in ensuring their well being and also their return home.
"It appears that these fishermen are being forced to endure harsh working conditions and they are being physically abused and tortured. Despite their plea to be repatriated to India, as they are unable to bear the hardship, their employer is refusing to pay heed."
"These fishermen have not even been paid their wages as per the contractual terms", Chief Minister O Panneerselvam told Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a letter.
The family members of these fishermen had requested the state Government to intervene and ensure their safe return to India, he said.
"I request you to kindly intervene in the matter and direct the Embassy of India in Saudi Arabia to take immediate steps to contact the 22 fishermen and ascertain their well being."
"The Embassy of India may also be directed to contact the authorities in Saudi Arabia to ensure that the dues to these poor fishermen are settled immediately by the company in which they were employed," he urged.
The Indian Embassy should also be directed to provide all assistance to enable these fishermen to return home safely, Panneerselvam told Modi.
The fishermen hailed from different districts including Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Karaikkal in Puducherry, he said.