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Sri Lanka repatriates 21 Indian fishermen to Chennai days after arrest

The Navy said in 2023 they had arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
Last Updated : 05 January 2024, 11:30 IST
Last Updated : 05 January 2024, 11:30 IST

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Colombo: The Sri Lankan government on Friday repatriated 21 Indian fishermen to Chennai, days after they were arrested by the island nation's Navy for illegally fishing in the country's waters.

The Navy said in 2023 they had arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan waters.

'21 #Indian fishermen have been repatriated from #SriLanka to #Chennai a short while ago,' the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka posted on X.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

On December 18, at least 14 Indian fishermen were arrested with their trawler seized off the coast of Karainagar in the northern Jaffna peninsula.

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Published 05 January 2024, 11:30 IST

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