Chennai, Oct 25 (UNI) External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee today said the Centre always accorded top priority to protect Tamil Nadu fishermen from the Sri Lankan Navy, when they ventured out for fishing.
Replying to Union Highways and Shipping Minister T R Baalu, who had taken up the issue of securing the release of ten fishermen from the Island navy, Mr Mukherjee said as of today, no fishermen from Tamil Nadu was under the custody of Sri Lankan Navy.
He said the ten fishermen, along with two fishing boats, had already been released and they returned home two weeks ago.
Mr Mukherjee said the Lankan Navy had been advised to avoid taking action against Tamil Nadu fishermen and treat them humanely, whenever they crossed the International Maritime Boundary Line.
Mr Baalu had written to Mr Mukherjee on September 25, demanding that the Centre must take steps to secure the release of the ten fishermen, who were in the custody of Sri Lankan Navy.