What Happened To The 721 Tamil Nadu Fisherman Trapped in Iran?

There has been over 700 Tamil Nadu fisherman who are currently stuck in the Western Asian country of Iran. This foreign issue of stranded fisherman has been dragging ever since the beginning of the lockdown.

The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister, Edappadi Palanisamy, has made some moves on bringing these hard-working people back to India.

Continue Reading to learn more about the struggles that are being faced by these fisherman along with the current negotiations between Tamil Nadu and Iran.

What Happened?

Until the coronavirus struck the face of this earth, there has been a deep link between Tamil Nadu, Iran and Dubai.

“Fishermen working in Iran get a visa to Dubai, from where they go to work in Iran on a seaman visa. Fish caught in Iran seas is sold to Dubai. The Dubai fish market was closed for five days till Friday due to the Covid-19 crisis due to which there was no pressure on Indian fisherman from their Iranian boat owners.” – Churchil

Stated On The Times of India

Churchil, South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF) General Secretary, initially stated that there were about 721 South Indian fisherman stranded in Iran.

  1. Kanyakumari District (Tamil Nadu) – 528 Fisherman
  2. Thiruvananthapuram (Kerala) – 40 Fisherman
  3. Other Coastal Districts (Tamil Nadu) – 153 Fisherman

Fishermans in Iran work on an agreement with their employers about getting their supplies to feed their families along with a phone recharge. With the Dubai market closed, these employers aren’t able to supply these Indian fisherman with these necessities.

As months go on, these boat owners in Iran are getting lower on supplies where they have now began to threaten these fisherman to work without anything in return. This includes cutting off their access to the outer world by not recharging their mobiles.

Zooming out of this issue, this entire problem began when the Dubai Market closed during the lockdown which is putting these fisherman in grave danger.

What is The Issue At This Moment?

On May 19th, Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy sent a letter to the External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar for a repatriation of all their 721 fisherman back to Tamil Nadu.

Due to the lockdown, there aren’t enough flights that are running where these fishermen and their relatives demanded for a special plane or ship to rescue those stranded in Iran. Then, the Indian Government sent a ship to Iran which was scheduled to return at the Tuticorin Port in Tamil Nadu.

Although the ship returned safely on July 1st, about 40 of the 721 fisherman weren’t able to make it on that ship back to Tamil Nadu since there weren’t enough space for them.

What Did Tamil Nadu Do?

Once again, the Chief Minister Edappadi Palanisamy has written to the Union Foreign Minister Jaishankar seeking to rescue the remaining 40 Tamil Nadu fishermen stranded in Iran.

“Therefore, I request you to arrange for their repatriation at the earliest to Tamil Nadu in a special flight.” – Edappadi Palanisamy

Stated On The New Indian Express

In this letter, the Chief Minister has made sure to thank the Union Foreign Minister along with confirming the fact that the 681 fisherman on the ship were safely rescued from Iran. In addition, he has requested a letter demanding action to rescue the rest of the Tamil Nadu fishermen as soon as possible.

If you have any questions/thoughts about the trapped fisherman or if you just had something to say, feel free to leave them down in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP.

Peace Out!!!


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