India secures release of 21 Indian fishermen from Iran

New Delhi: India has secured release of 31 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded in Iran after their employers in the West Asian nation withheld their passports, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said on Tuesday.

“I am happy to inform that 21 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded at Nakhitaghi (Iran) have been released with the efforts of Indian Embassy in Iran and our Consulate at Bandar Abbas,” Sushma Swaraj tweeted.

“We are repatriating them to Chennai in batches starting from August 3, 2018,” she said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami last month requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Indian Embassy in Iran to take steps to repatriate the 21 fishermen stranded there.

In a letter to Modi, Palaniswami said the 21 were left stranded in Iran by their employers by withholding their passports.

“I request you to direct the Embassy of India in Iran to take all measures to ensure immediate repatriation of these poor innocent Indian fishermen. Necessary steps may also be taken to ensure that the fishermen receive their just and due wages,” he said.