Jayalalithaa urges PM Modi to help free stranded fishermen in Saudi Arabia

Chennai, April 2 (ANI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J.Jayalalithaa has urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to help free 63 Indian fishermen stranded in Saudi Arabia and who are being prevented from returning home.

“These 63 Indian fishermen include two from Kanyakumari District, five from Cuddalore District, seven from Nagapattinam District, 46 from Ramanathapuram District, two fishermen from Thanjavur District in Tamil Nadu and one fisherman from Kerala,” Jayalalithaa wrote in her letter to the Prime Minister.

“It is reported that these fishermen went to Jubail in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to work as fishermen on contract with a private company, M/s. Yusuf Khaleel al Ameeri Al Khalidhi on different dates from 2013 onwards. The fishermen have informed that the company has not been paying the fishermen their share from the fishing catch as per the terms of employment,” she added.

She further stated that the fishermen are struggling to meet their daily needs and are unable to send money to their dependent families back home.

“Having lost hope of receiving fair remuneration from their employers, these 63 fishermen requested the company to enable their return to India which was refused by the company. It is reported that their passports are in the custody of the company which is now neither allowing them to work nor return to India,” she said.

Jayalalithaa requested the Prime Minister to immediately intervene in the matter and direct the Indian Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to take up the issue at the highest level with the authorities in Saudi Arabia and ensure the immediate repatriation of the fishermen.

She added that the Indian authorities in Saudi Arabia would ensure that necessary steps are taken to enable the fishermen to receive their wages rightfully due to them as per the terms of their contract.

Jayalalithaa also requested Prime Minister Modi to take immediate action in the matter, adding that the families of the fishermen are anxious about their safety and are also suffering without any means of livelihood.

Prime Minister Modi has left for Saudi Arabia after two days of engagement with world leaders at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington.

“My Washington DC visit was full of fruitful meetings and interactions. We have discussed an issue of great global importance,” Modi said in a tweet before Air India One left Andrews Airforce Base for Saudi Arabia on Friday. (ANI)

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