New Delhi, Mar 21 (PTI) DMK member Tiruchi Siva today raised in the Rajya Sabha the issue of Indian fishermen, especially from Tamil Nadu, who are languishing in the prisons in Iran. Also Read - International Flights: Now Air India Express Operates First Flight Service to Dubai With Fully Vaccinated Staff

“About 37 of them are currently in the custody of the Iranian government, for straying into the country’s waters. Also Read - Good News: Gulf Countries Start Flight Operations From Vijayawada Airport | Details Here

Five of them were working in Saudi Arabia, 15 in Bahrain, and the remaining in Dubai,” he said. Also Read - Man Flies Solo From Mumbai to Dubai on 350-Seater Emirates Flight, Gets Star Treatment

Siva said the fishermen who were working in Saudi Arabia were arrested on August 6, those working in Bahrain were held on October 22, and finally, the group from Dubai in January this year.

“After spending a few days in jail, they were all shifted to boats in two ports, Kish Island and Bandar Abbas, where they remain under strict surveillance of the authorities with little food or water,” he said.

This is despite the fines, ordered by an Iranian Court for some of them, have already been paid, the DMK member said.

He said the Indian Embassy in Bahrain and the employers have intervened and they have paid Rs 10 lakh per boat to release them.

“The fines which have been ordered by the Court have also been met with. Even then, these fishermen have not yet been released,” he said.

He further said an NGO has filed an official complaint with the government of Iran on behalf of the fishermen family, but it is clueless why they have not yet been released.

The DMK member said the families of the fishermen solicit nothing, but plead, ‘kindly rescue our breadwinners.’ Deputy Chairman P J Kurien asked Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi to convey the matter to the External Affairs Minister “for whatever possible action”.

Meanwhile, Textiles Minister Smriti Irani wished the Parsi community that celebrates its New Year today.

“The Parsi community s dedicated service and contribution to our country is undisputed. Today, the community celebrates its New Year and prays for good tidings and good health and prosperity for everybody.

“So, with the permission of the Chair and the House, let us all wish the Parsi community and people at large, Nawruz Mubarak…,” she said.

Kurien said: “All of us are with you in wishing them”.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.