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Four Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy; boat seized

Arrest of Indian fishermen from Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, and Ramanathapuram districts by the Sri Lankan Navy is a recurring affair.
Last Updated : 18 June 2024, 10:25 IST

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Chennai: Four Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Pudukkottai district were on Tuesday arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in its water after crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in Palk Strait.

The fishermen had set out for fishing in a mechanised boat from the Kottaipattinam fishing harbour on June 17 after the end of the mandatory 61-day fishing ban in the east coast of Tamil Nadu. The fishermen are alleged to have crossed into Sri Lankan waters and were apprehended by the island nation’s Navy in Neduntheevu.

Neduntheevu is an island in northern Sri Lanka surrounded by shallow waters and beaches of coral chunks and sand.

The arrested fishermen have been identified as K Parthiban (32), K Sarathi (28), N Ramadoss (52), and K Murali (42). Sources said the fishermen and the boat in which they sailed were apprehended and taken to Kankesanthurai Naval base in Jaffna, the capital of Sri Lanka’s northern province.

Arrest of Indian fishermen from Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, and Ramanathapuram districts by the Sri Lankan Navy is a recurring affair. The fishermen cross the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and step into Sri Lankan waters as the fish catch is abundant on the other side.

The Ministry of External Affairs maintains that the government attaches the highest priority to the safety, security and welfare of Indian fishermen and that the issue of fishermen has been taken up at the highest level.

“Sri Lankan government has been requested to treat the fishermen issue as a purely humanitarian and livelihood concern, and it has been stressed that both sides should ensure that there is no use of force under any circumstances,” the ministry had said last year.

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Published 18 June 2024, 10:25 IST

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