Sustained efforts taken by Union Minister of State for Shipping Pon. Radhakrishnan to ensure the release of 21 fishermen from Tirunelveli, Thoothukudi and Kanniyakumari districts, who are in an Iranian prison, have fructified as nine of them are expected to reach Chennai on August 4.

The 21 fishermen, who had been hired by Dubai-based fishing trawler owner Mohamed Shallah, had ventured into sea for fishing in his trawler in November last year and were detained by Iranian Navy for allegedly entering the waters of Iran.

When Mr. Radhakrishnan visited Sabhahar Harbour in Iran on December 3, he came to know about detained Tamil fishermen and appealed to the Iranian authorities to ensure their early release.

Moreover, he instructed the Indian Embassy authorities to ensure regular supply of food, medical assistance and medicines to the detained fishermen.

On his return to New Delhi, Mr. Radhakrishnan met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to explain to her the hostile situation in which the 21 fishermen had been placed and appealed to ensure their safe and early release.

To reach Chennai

Thanks to the efforts taken by Ms. Sushma and Mr. Radhakrishnan, nine fishermen – Rafale Joseph, Jesu Antony Ajilton, Francis Jesudasan, Antony Ignatius Antony Santiago Rayappan, Dasan Xavier, Maria John Sahaya Michael Parthiban, Antony Rayappan Maria Joseph Kennedy, Tiburtian Costa Victor and Victor Rubis – are leaving Iran by Qatar Airways on August 3 and reaching Chennai in the small hours of the next day.

The remaining 12 fishermen would leave Iran on August 5 for which the Indian Embassy authorities were making arrangements, Mr. Radhakrishnan said in a statement.

The remaining 12 fishermen will leave Iran on August 5 for which the Indian Embassy authorities are making arrangements

Pon. Radhakrishnan

Union Minister of State for Shipping

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