Tamil Nadu fishermen to call off protest after meeting with Nirmala Sitharaman

The fishermen were agitating primarily over the recent killing of an Indian fisherman in alleged Sri Lankan Navy and generally over their frequent run-ins with the foreign force.

Tamil Nadu fishermen have decided to call of their six-day protest over constant, sometimes deadly, encounters with the Sri Lankan Navy.

The protest was sparked off by the recent killing of a 22-year-old Indian fisherman named Britso in alleged Sri Lankan Navy firing. Colombo has denied the incident took place, and New Delhi has formally taken up the issue in diplomatic channels.

The fishermen called off the protest after talks with Union Ministers Nirmala Seetharaman and Pon Radhakrishnan. According to news agency ANI, Seetharaman told the fishermen that she had come on behalf of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and promised strong action.

The last six days have seen thousands of fishermen and their relatives protest in Thankachimadom over the issue. Britso's family, meanwhile, had refused to conduct his last rites. The funeral has now been planned for Monday evening, following which the protest will be formally called off.

The Sri Lankan Navy often detains Indian fishermen for allegedly crossing the international maritime border. Following the March 6 alleged shooting, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E Palaniswami even wrote to PM Modi, seeking his intervention over the matter.

The foreign force has maintained that it does not shoot at Indian fishermen and only arrests them. Sri Lanka has promised a probe into the alleged shooting of Britso and recently even released a group of Indian fishermen from its custody.

(With inputs from ANI)

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