Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday urged the Centre to secure the release of fishermen, who were arrested on March 7 by the authorities of Indonesia and Seychelles, PTI reported.

Stalin wrote to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar saying that Indonesian air and sea police teams had arrested five fishermen from Tamil Nadu and three from Kerala. They were taken to Ditpolairud Pier in Indonesia for legal proceedings.

They had gone fishing on February 17, The Hindu reported.

Separately, as many as 33 fishermen and three boats were apprehended by Seychelles officials, according to the newspaper. They had left Kerala’s Kochi city on February 22.

Stalin has written several such letters to the central government since he became the chief minister of Tamil Nadu in May.

“It continues despite several letters having been sent from the Tamil Nadu government highlighting the escalation of such instances of harassment and arrest of our fishermen,” Stalin said in his letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi dated February 28, according to the Hindustan Times.

On February 23, Stalin had requested Jaishankar to request the Sri Lankan government to release seven fishing boats and 47 fishermen from Tamil Nadu. The fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy. He requested the minister to initiate bilateral talks and find a “permanent solution to the vexatious issue”.

He demanded that the Centre take “concerted efforts” to end the attempts made by the Sri Lankan Navy to “infringe on historic rights of Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Bay”.