Bring back 21 fishermen from Iran: Palaniswami

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Chennai, June 21 (IANS) Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K. Palaniswami on Thursday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to direct the Indian Embassy in Iran to take steps to repatriate 21 Indian fishermen stranded there.

In a letter to Modi, which was released to the media here, Palaniswami said the 21 were left stranded in Iran by their employers by withholding their passports.

“I request you to direct the Embassy of India in Iran to take all measures to ensure the immediate repatriation of these poor innocent Indian fishermen. Necessary steps may also be taken to ensure that the fishermen receive their just and due wages,” he said.

Palaniswami said the fishermen from Tamil Nadu were employed by Mohammed Shallah and his brothers for more than six months.

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“In the recent past, the Iranian employers did not pay the fishermen their share, as per terms of employment. Hence these fishermen were struggling to make their ends meet and were unable to send money to their families,” Palaniswami said.

Having lost the hope of receiving a fair remuneration, the fishermen requested the employers to facilitate their return to India which was summarily refused by them, Palaniswami said.

“It is reported that the passports of the fishermen are in the custody of the local employers who is neither allowing them to continue work nor allowing them to return back to India. In addition, the employer chased the fishermen out of their accommodation and abandoned them in the streets without any shelter, food and security,” Palaniswami said.

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–IANS

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