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Fishermen begins indefinite strike

Fishermen begins indefinite strike

Rameswaram, Jul 10 (UNI) The mechanized boat fishermen of Rameswaram, began an indefinite strike on Tuesday morning, demanding unconditional and immediate release of fishermen and fishing trawlers detained by Sri Lanka.



The busy Rameswaram fishing jetty wore a deserted look, as 5,000 fishermen abstained from fishing activities leaving over 850 registered mechanized fishing trawlers anchored in the jetty.



N.J.Bose, President of Rameswaram Port Mechanized Boat Fishermen Association told newsmen here that a decision to observe indefinite strike was taken at an emergency convened by leaders of 11 fishermen associations in Rameswaram last night.



The fishermen were demanding release of 16 fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram and Mandapam, arrested by Sri Lankan Navy on July 5 and 8, respectively. They also demand that the Sri Lankan government should release all the fishing trawlers from its custody.



He said as many as 187 fishing trawlers seized by the Sri Lankan Navy since 2015 and kept in various ports in the Island nation suffered extensive damage and were unsalvageable owing to lack of maintenance.



The fishermen associations also demanded the Central and state governments that it should give a compensation of Rs 25 lakh to each of the boat owners and provide alternative job to the fisher-folk in view of the continuous viciousness of Lankan Navy against the Indian fishermen, Mr Bose said.



The strike would affect the livelihood of more than 20,000 people, including fishermen and other workers depending upon fishing industry, besides would result in huge loss of foreign exchange to the government exchequer, as several tonnes of marine species were exported to several south-Asian countries from Rameswaram via Thoothukudi and Chennai ports.

UNI GSM CS 1133

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