Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has written to Union External Affairs S Jaishankar asking him to intervene into the recent incidents of fishermen from the state being arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

In a letter dated February 23, Stalin requested Jaishankar to take up the matter with the Sri Lankan government and initiate bilateral talks to find a permanent solution to the “vexatious issue.”

According to the chief minister, in the last 30 days, seven fishing boats and 47 fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been apprehended. As of February 23, Stalin said that 29 fishermen and 82 fishing boats were still in the custody of the Sri Lankan government.

In the letter, Stalin said that on February 17, four fishermen from Kodiyakarai village in Nagapattinam district were attacked by unidentified people. The attack took place while they were eight nautical miles off the Kodiyakarai coast.

The fishermen were robbed of their catch fuel, mobile phones as well as global position system locators.

On February 18, six fishermen from Nambuthalai village in Ramanathapuram, were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. Stalin’s letter said the arrested fishermen were taken to Mylatti in Jaffna in Sri Lanka.

“The physical attacks and robbing of fishing assets and the catch of totally against any law and deprive the fishermen of their livelihood,” he wrote.

He sought the intervention of the external affairs minister for the early release of the Tamil Nadu fishermen as well as their belongings from Sri Lankan custody.