Jaishankar says will help stranded fishermen from Iran

New Delhi (IANS) On the backdrop of COVID-19 spread in Iran, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar assured Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Monday to rescue Indian fishermen of his constituency, stranded in Iran.

Taking it to Twitter Jaishankar said: "Working on the issue of Indians in Iran anxious to return due to #COVID19. Have seen many tweets in this regard. We are collaborating with the Iranian authorities to set up a screening process for return of Indians. I Am asking our Ambassador @dhamugaddam to keep all those concerned updated of the progress. I Am also tracking this personally."

This has come after Congress MP from Thiruananthapuram Shashi Tharoor wrote to the Minister on Sunday, expressing his concern over around 30 fishermen of his constituency being stranded in Iran amid novel coronavirus spread there.

Tharoor in his letter said that he had received SOS videos from fishermen and informations of those from their family members.

In the letter, Tharoor said: "It appears around 30 fishermen from Kerala including those belonging to fishing hamlets of Kovalam and Pozhiyoor in my constituency, are currently stranded in Iran and confined to their rooms with limited access to food and water. Some reports suggested that as many as 23 individuals are being forced to live in a single room. This is a situation that developed overnight as part of the larger quarantine and containment measures implemented by the Iranian administration to contain the outbreak of COVID-19 in the country".

Tharoor urged Jaishankar to give his appeal "most urgent consideration" and urged to provide "critical goods as well as the larger goal of rescuing the stranded fishermen at the earliest...as you did so effectively for your compatriots in China," he said.

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