Vaiko urges PM to get TN boats released from Sri Lanka

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Chennai, Nov 9 (PTI) MDMK general secretary Vaiko on Monday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take immediate steps for release of over 100 impounded mechanised boats of Tamil Nadu fishermen from Sri Lanka or ensure compensation.

Citing news reports, he said a Sri Lankan court has ordered 121 boats seized from the fishermen to be 'destroyed', adding it was shocking.

Of the over 100 boats, as many as 88 were from Rameswaram, Vaiko, a Rajya Sabha MP, said in a letter to Modi.

Officials in Rameswaram, quoting information received by them, had on Sunday said a court in Jaffna has permitted authorities to destroy several Indian mechanised fishing boats seized in the last 3-4 years for allegedly crossing into the island nation territory.

'The government of India should take up this issue with the Sri Lankan government either for releasing the boats or to pay due compensation to the boat owners of Tamil Nadu. I would request you to take immediate effective steps in this regard,' Vaiko said in the letter.

The cost of a mechanised boat was about Rs 25 lakh to Rs 40 lakh and fishermen obtained loans to buy them and were still paying huge interests, he said.

Also, the MDMK leader recalled his representations on this issue to Modi during 2015-16. PTI VGN VS VS