Forty-six fishermen from Tamil Nadu and 10 from Kerala have been detained since October 10 in Iran by the coast guard there for crossing into Iranian waters while fishing, a top representative of the South Asian Fishermen Fraternity said on Wednesday.
"Twenty-nine fishermen were fishing in the Qatar Sea and others were sailing from Dubai for fishing when they were arrested by Iranian Coast Guard for crossing into Iranian waters. They have been detained at the Pandher Fishing Harbour, Ikkish Island in Iran," SAFF General Secretary Fr Churchil said.
The fishermen hailed from Arockiapuram, Kadiapatnam, Colachel, Simoncolony, Enayam, Enayamputhenthurai, Ramanthurai and Poothurai coastal villages in Tamil Nadu's Kanyakumari district and Thiruvananthapuram, he said.
They were not provided food, he alleged. SAFF came to know about the fishermen's plight after some of them telephoned SAFF leaders, he said.
SAFF submitted a memorandum to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on Tuesday seeking the state's intervention to get the fishermen released.
Chandy assured the SAFF leaders that the matter would be brought to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and steps would be taken for the release of fishermen through the external affairs ministry, Churchil said.