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Release of Indian fishermen “getting expedited”: Centre

Chennai: The release of the Indian fishermen who have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy is in the process of getting expedited, Minister of State in PMO Jitendra Singh said here today.

“It has been conveyed (to the Centre) that the process of getting their (fishermen) release has been expedited,” he told reporters at the airport here.

Singh was here to participate in a function near Raj Bhavan in connection with the 140th birth anniversary of India’s first Prime Minister Sardar Patel, and to attend a National Integration Day event in Tambaram on the outskirts of the city.

“Maybe we should get the good news before Diwali (festival),” he said to a query on when the release of Indian fishermen was expected.

Twenty-eight fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on October 1.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had on October 3 sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention on the matter and said the arrests had added to the ‘immense frustration’ among the fisherfolk.

“This latest belligerent act of the Sri Lankan Navy perpetrated on innocent and unarmed Indian fishermen adds to the immense frustration that has built up among the fishermen of Tamil Nadu,” she had said in her letter.

She had shot off another letter to the PM on October 14 urging him to take up at the highest political level the arrest of fishermen from the state by Sri Lanka.