Stranded fishermen to be brought back from Iran: TN Minister

Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister D. Jayakumar on Thursday said about 700 fishermen stranded in Iran due to COVID-19 will be brought back to India soon by a ship.

In a statement issued here, Jayakumar said about 700 fishermen from various districts in Tamil Nadu had gone to Iran on contract basis for fishing.

He said the fishermen got stranded there as flights were cancelled owing to the spread of coronavirus and the Tamil Nadu government has taken steps to bring them back.

Jayakumar said a ship will bring back the fishermen to Tuticorin port.

While the statement is silent on the ship that would bring back the fishermen, normally it is an Indian Navy ship that brings back the Indians stranded overseas as part of Operation Samudra Setu under the Vande Bharat Mission.

Meanwhile a defence ministry official said the Indian Navy ship INS Jalashwa will bring back Indians from Bandar Abbas in Iran.

The ship arrived off Bandar Abbas on Wednesday and the embarkation of the Indian nationals was to commence on Thursday morning.