MEA Detained 68 Fishermen By Srilanka Between 18-20 December, Talks Underway

New Delhi: The Ministry of External Affairs claimed that about 68 fishermen and 10 boats were taken into custody from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan authorities between December 18 and 20.

MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said, “We are concerned about the detention of the Indian fishermen.”

Officials from the Consulate General of India, Jaffna, have met the detained fishermen and are providing all necessary support, Bagchi said, adding that this includes help with clothes, toiletries, snacks, dry essentials and masks, besides facilitating phone calls to family members. The consulate is also arranging legal representation.

Speaking about one fisherman who was indisposed, Bagchi said the Indian consular officer has visited him in hospital to check on his welfare.

“Our High Commission in Colombo has taken up the issue of early release of the Indian fishermen and boats with the government of Sri Lanka,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.

Bagchi said external affairs minister S Jaishankar has received representations on the issue from various political parties. “He was also called on the matter by the Tamil Nadu chief minister. He (Jaishankar) has apprised all of them the current situation and underlined the Government of India’s efforts to secure their early release,” the MEA spokesperson added.

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