AIADMK general secretary V K Sasikala urged the Sri Lankan government to release fishermen from Tamil Nadu languishing in prisons as a goodwill gesture in the Pongal festival season according to TOI. She appealed to the NDA government at the Centre to work towards this. A total of 61 fishermen and 116 boats remain in Lankan custody till date.
In a statement, the AIADMK leader alleged that attacks on fishermen, a majority of them being poor, were a cruel act. "It is highly condemnable that fishermen of Tamil Nadu, who face untold hardships in the sea for a living, were being harassed continuously by the Lankan Navy. It is the responsibility of the Centre to protect the fishing rights of TN fishermen," Sasikala said, adding that ceding of Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka had resulted in continuous attacks on fishermen.
Chief minister O Panneerselvam too sought the intervention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in securing the safe release of fishermen. In the latest incident, 10 fishermen were apprehended by Lankan Navy on Wednesday evening. The fishermen in two mechanized fishing boats set sail from Jegathapattinam fishing base of Pudukottai. "The Lankan strategy of not releasing the boats of our fishermen is causing great frustration amongst them," the CM said.