India asks Sri Lanka to free Indian fishermen

India asks Sri Lanka to free Indian fishermen

India has taken up with Sri Lanka the arrest of 23 Indian fishermen by its navy and sought their release.

Indian diplomats left for Mannar in Sri Lanka's northwest Monday to ascertain the facts following the capture of the fishermen Saturday after they allegedly entered the island's territorial waters.

The Indian high commission will take up the issue with the authorities in Colombo, official sources said Monday.

The Tamil Nadu fishermen were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait, which divides the two countries.

The frequent arrests - and occasional killing -- of fishermen have become a thorny issue in India-Sri Lanka relations.

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