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DMK, AIADMK join hands in RS on fishermen issue

In a rare display of unanimity among Tamil parties, DMK and AIADMK on Monday pressed the Centre to secure release of 14 fishermen recently arrested by Sri Lanka, even as they thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for securing release of five others on death row.

Raising the issue in Rajya Sabha during Zero Hour, Tiruchi Siva (DMK) said timely intervention by the Modi government had helped in release of five fishermen on death row but their three boats were not returned.

Sri Lankan Navy had arrested 14 fishermen on November 23 near Jaffna Peninsula on charges of poaching in Lankan waters.

On Friday, it arrested four more. Siva said 24 fishermen are already languishing in Sri Lankan prisons and as many as 78 fishing boats are in their captivity.

The Central government should “take initiative for release of boats and fishermen,” he said, adding permanent solution to the problem lies in India reclaiming ownership of Katchatheevu island.

Without naming anybody, he said a senior BJP leader had been claiming that Sri Lanka had not released the fishermen’s boats after he made an appeal to the nation’s President for the same.
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