Efforts on to repatriate 13 fishermen including Keralites detained in Indonesia, Seychelles

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S Jaishankar | Photo: AP

Thiruvananthapuram:Indian Missions in Indonesia and Seychelles are closely following with the local authorities the issue of detention of 13 Indian fishermen in those countries and making efforts for their repatriation, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has said.

In a letter to Lok Sabha MP from Kerala, Adoor Prakash, who had raised the issue in the Lower House during Zero Hour on March 16, the Minister said eight Indian fishermen, five from Tamil Nadu and three from Kerala and their fishing vessel BLESSING GT 69 were detained on the night of March 07-08 by Marine Police of Aceh, for fishing in Indonesian waters without business permit from the government of that country.

He said the state authorities in Kerala and Tamil Nadu have confirmed the nationality of all eight fishermen.

Officials from Indian Consulate General have met the fishermen and they were found to be in good health.

"Our Consulate General is also in regular touch with the local authorities, to ensure availability of proper food, clothing and sanitation. They are also consulting the local authorities on legal procedures, including repatriation to India", the Minister said in the letter dated April 19.

The letter, copy of which was made available to media by the MP's office, said five Indian fishing vessels with 61 fishermen onboard were apprehended by the Syechelles Coast Guard on March 6 and 10 respectively.

Jaishankar said 56 fishermen (except the five captains of the five fishing boats) have been released by Seychelles government on March 22 and they have already reached India.

"We will continue to engage with the Government of Seychelles for the release and repatriation of the remaining five crew members," he said. PTI

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