Days after the shooting of a fisherman in Katchatheevu, 10 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly entering their territorial waters on Tuesday.
The New Indian Express reported that the fishermen from Rameswaram left for fishing on Monday morning. The ten fishermen are Selva, Raiph, Tamizh, Subash, Manickam, Pandi, Castro, Muthukumar, Deepi and Ranjith. About 100 boats had left Rameswaram. Reportedly, one of the boats developed a technical issue while it was on the Sri Lankan waters and the people in it were arrested.
CR Senthilvel, General Secretary of Tamil Nadu Fishermen’s Confederation, told TNIE that the 10 fishermen were arrested and taken to the Kankesanthurai naval base in Sri Lanka. The boat was also seized and the fishermen were arrested while the fishermen association was having a meeting with the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. He added that the central government should take immediate action on the issue. The central government has promised to help, he said.
Following this, the TN CM Palanisamy wrote to PM Modi seeking the intervention of the Indian government. “A decisive shift in the manner in which this sensitive issue is dealt with is long awaited and is the need of the hour. I request you to immediately direct the concerned officials in the Ministry of External Affairs to take concrete action through diplomatic channels to secure the immediate release of 10 fishermen and 129 fishing boats including the 10 fishermen and their mechanised fishing boat apprehended on 21.3.2017,” he said.
On March 6, 2017, an Indian fisherman named Bridgo was shot dead allegedly by the Sri Lankan navy, while he was fishing off the Katchatheevu islet. Another fisherman, Saravan (22), reportedly suffered injuries in his leg in the firing while others who were with them escaped unhurt.
After the incident, more than 300 fishermen protested in Rameswaram until central ministers came and met the fishermen and invited them to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.