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Tamil Nadu CM urges Modi to ensure release of Indian fishermen given death penalty

O Paneerselvam has written to Modi urging the government to ensure the release of the five fishermen who have been sentenced to death.

Updated:October 30, 2014, 8:13 PM IST
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Tamil Nadu CM urges Modi to ensure release of Indian fishermen given death penalty
O Paneerselvam has written to Modi urging the government to ensure the release of the five fishermen who have been sentenced to death.

Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging the government to ensure the release of the five fishermen who have been sentenced to death by a Sri Lankan court for allegedly smuggling drugs.

He has said that the people of Tamil Nadu have been hurt by the judgement adding that failure to secure their release will inflame emotions in the state.

Reacting to the order, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said, "We are taking up the matter both diplomatically and legally." The fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2011. The fishermen have been given time till November 14 to appeal at the Sri Lankan Supreme Court.

The five Indians are among a group of eight people sentenced to death by the High Court in Colombo. They had been arrested on a boat in the seas off northern Jaffna's Delft islet.

The issue of fishermen is a very emotive matter for both Sri Lanka and India, where Tamil Nadu-based parties including AIADMK and DMK have been regularly pressing the Centre to take up the matter with the Lankan authorities seriously and have often resented high-profile visits from the island nation.

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