The Sri Lankan Navy arrested ten fishermen from Tamil Nadu on Thursday when they were allegedly fishing near Neduntheevu, which comes under the former's jurisdiction.
PTI reported that the fishermen from Akkarapettai in Nagaptattinam district of Tamil Nadu were held on charges of 'poaching' fish near Neduntheevu, according to Assistant Director of Fisheries Department, Gangadharan.
They were reportedly taken to the naval base SLNS Uttara Kankesanthurai in the island nation along with their trawler, and later handed over to the assistant fisheries director of Jaffna for legal action, ToI reported.
This follows a similar incident earlier this month, when fishermen from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district were arrested on the charge of poaching fish near Neduntheevu along the Sri Lankan coast.
In the last week of October, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami urged the Centre to take immediate steps to secure the release of 54 Indian fishermen who had been apprehended by Sri Lanka.
‚ÄúSo far, in 2017, 317 Tamil Nadu fishermen and 62 fishing boats have been apprehended in 59 incidents and 263 of these fishermen have been released after considerable persuasion by the governments of India and Tamil Nadu...I strongly urge you to take up the alarming and frequent abduction of our fishermen in their traditional waters with the highest authorities in the Sri Lankan government," Palaniswami wrote in his letter.
Fishermen from the Tamil Nadu coast have also been protesting against another incident that occurred earlier this month, where the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) allegedly opened fire at a group of fishermen from Rameswaram.
The fishermen alleged that the ICG intercepted their trawler and opened fire with rubber bullets, following which they climbed aboard and beat them up.
An FIR has been registered with the marine police of the Coastal Security Group under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 307 (attempt to murder) of IPC and Section 27(1) of the Arms Act, 1959, even as officials of the ICG denied opening fire.
In a statement, the ICG said, ‚ÄúNo fishermen have been fired upon by any coast guard ship in Palkbay. Further, rubber bullets are not used by ICG ships. It may be an attempt by the fishermen to divert the attention as they were checked and warned by the Indian Coast Guard ship for paired trawling and non-stopping when directed to do so.‚ÄĚ