The Sri Lankan navy arrested 24 fishermen and also chased away at gun point several others for allegedly fishing in Sri Lankan waters near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, the Press Trust of India reported.
More then 3,000 fishermen in 600 boats had put out to sea from Rameshwaram last night. The Lankan navy personnel came in 10 patrol boats and sea bikes, threatened the fishermen and arrested 24 of them besides chasing away others at gun point, fishermen organisation leaders S Emerite and Sagayaraj said.
The fishermen were fishing near Katchatheevu in Palk Straits, they said claiming the fishermen were fishing in traditional waters.
On October 10, the navy personnel had arrested 19 fishermen from Nagapattinam district on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line prompting Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take up the continued arrests of state’s fishermen at a high political level with Sri Lanka.
In another instance on October 2, seven fishermen from Rameswaram had been arrested by Sri Lankan naval personnel off Katchatheevu islet for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in their waters.
Emirite said the livelihood of fishermen would be hit hard if the Sri Lankan navy continued the arrests besides threatening them while fishing in traditional waters. He also wanted the Centre and state governments to take necessary steps to prevent such incidents.