Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M. K. Stalin has written to Indian External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar, urging him to take diplomatic measures for the release of 27 fishermen and their five boats detained by the Sri Lankan navy on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the fishermen in Rameswaram declared an indefinite strike and a series of protests until the arrested fishermen and all their boats were released from Sri Lankan custody.

In his letter to the External Affairs Minister, the CM stated that the repeated instances of arrest and seizure have caused panic among the fishermen. The livelihoods of these fishermen, who are often the sole breadwinners for their families, are at stake. The economic implications of these recurrent arrests are profound, as they lead to not only the loss of income for the fishermen and their families but also jeopardise the food security of countless individuals who depend on their catch, he stated.

The Sri Lankan navy detained 27 fishermen—23 from Rameswaram and four from Mandapam—on Saturday on charges of poaching in their territorial waters. As of now, 120 fishing boats are in Sri Lankan custody.

The fishermen’s leaders, who met after the arrest, resorted to taking out an indefinite strike starting Monday. All the fishing boats were moored at jetties.