Sushma Swaraj Intervenes, 21 Indian Fishermen Stuck In Iran Released
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Tuesday told the nation that the 21 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded in Iran have been released and will be repatriated soon. In a Twitter post, she also mentioned that the fishermen would be brought back to India in batches starting from August 3.
I am happy to inform that 21 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were stranded at Nakhitaghi (Iran) have been released with the efforts of Indian Embassy in Iran and our Consulate at Bandar Abbas. We are repatriating them to Chennai in batches starting from 3rd august 2018.
— Sushma Swaraj (@SushmaSwaraj) July 31, 2018
According to The New Indian Express, Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan told the media that nine fishermen would leave Iran on August 3 and would reach Chennai the next day, while the others would leave Iran on August 5 and reach Chennai the day after.
Indian fishermen stranded in Iran
Reportedly, last month, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami had urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to order the Indian Embassy in Iran to initiate the necessary steps to bring the 21 fishermen back to India. The fishermen, who were from Kanyakumari, Thoothukudi and Tirunelveli districts of Tamil Nadu were fishing in three boats which were provided to them by their Iranian employer for over six months.
However, they were left struggling without fair remuneration, food and accommodation after their employers confiscated their passports, boats and other essential documents. The chief minister also said that the Iranian employers had also rejected the request to facilitate their return to India. Reportedly, they weren’t even given their share of income that was agreed upon previously.
Previous efforts by the Indian government
In 2017, 15 fishermen from Tamil Nadu who were detained by the Iran government for entering the Iranian waters with boats from Bahrain, were also rescued by the Indian Embassy in Tehran.
Also, in July 2018 when over 1500 Indian pilgrims were stranded in Nepal due to inclement weather, Swaraj’s efforts in issuing important information using Twitter and swift on-ground action helped the rescue mission.
The Logical Indian take
Many cases like this one have cropped up in the past where Indians who go to work in foreign countries are left stranded by their employers, with little or no hopes of returning to their homeland, without the Indian government’s intervention. The Logical Indian appreciates the efforts of the government in rescuing and repatriating the fishermen successfully.