Media Center Media Center

QUESTION NO.2194 KATCHATHEEVU ISLAND

March 15, 2017

LOK SABHA
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO.2194
TO BE ANSWERED ON 15.03.2017

KATCHATHEEVU ISLAND

2194. SHRI K PARASURAMAN:

Will the Minister of EXTERNAL AFFAIRS be pleased to state:

(a) whether Indian fishermen were arrested in Katchatheevu Island recently particularly Tamil Nadu fishermen;

(b) if so, the details thereof;

(c) whether the Government has taken up this issue with the concerned country for early release of these prisoners and if so, the details thereof; and

(d) the number of prisoners released as a result thereof during the last three years and the time by which rest of the prisoners are likely to be released?

ANSWER
THE MINISTER OF STATE IN THE MINISTRY OF EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
[GEN. (DR) V. K. SINGH (RETD)]

(a) & (b) While Tamilnadu fishermen have not been arrested in Katchtheevu itself, a number of them have been apprehended in waters between India and Sri Lanka.

(c) Government attaches the highest importance to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen. As soon as reports of apprehension of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities are received, Government, through diplomatic channels, immediately takes up the matter with Government of Sri Lanka to secure their early release and repatriation along with their vessels. India has consistently maintained that the fishermen issues involve longstanding livelihood and socio-economic practices and humanitarian concerns on both sides. It has been conveyed to the Sri Lankan side at the highest levels that the issue needs to be handled with great care and sensitivity. A Joint Working Group (JWG) on Fisheries has been set up as a bilateral institutional mechanism to help find a permanent solution to all fishermen issues. It has also been agreed that Ministers for Fisheries of the two countries meet every six months to review the progress. The first meeting of the JWG on Fisheries was held in New Delhi on 31 December 2016 and the first ministerial meeting was held on 2 January 2017 in Colombo.

(d) The number of Indian fishermen released during the last three years is as under:

Year

Number of fishermen arrested

Number of fishermen released

2014

787

1045 (including 273 of 2013 & 772 of 2014)

2015

454

375 (including 15 of 2014 & 360 of 2015)

2016

290

333 (including 94 of 2015 & 239 of 2016)

2017

85

51 (51 fishermen of 2016 released on 06 Jan 2017)



Government has been pursuing with the Government of Sri Lanka the early release of the 85 Indian fishermen currently under their custody. As a result of our efforts, progress has been made in that direction which await the issuance of formal orders.

*****

Comments

Post A Comment

  • Name *
    E-mail *
  • Write Your Comment *
  • Verification Code * Verification Code