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10 Indian fishermen arrested; one Sri Lankan sailor killed in operations against illegal fishing: Navy spokesman

The incident came two days after 18 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy for alleged poaching.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 09:56 IST

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Colombo: At least 10 Indian fishermen were arrested while one Sri Lankan naval sailor was killed in an operation launched by the island nation's authorities to seize a trawler allegedly engaged in illegal fishing in the Sri Lankan waters, authorities said on Tuesday.

The incident came two days after 18 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lanka Navy for alleged poaching.

The operation was launched on Tuesday off the coast of Delft islet in Northern Jaffna when the Sri Lankan Navy received information that an Indian with some fishermen was involved in illegal fishing in the Sri Lankan waters.

"The Navy launched an operation to nab an Indian trawler and fishermen doing illegal fishing in the Sri Lankan waters. However, during the operation, one Sri Lankan sailor suffered chest injuries from an iron rod in the Indian trawler and died," Navy spokesman Captain Gayan Wickremasuriya told PTI.

However, in the operation, the Sri Lankan Navy seized the trawler and arrested 10 Indians from it.

The Navy said over 200 Indian fishermen and 27 trawlers have been seized for illegal fishing in the country's waters so far this year.

Most of these incidents happen in the Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka’s northern tip, a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with the Sri Lanka Navy personnel sometimes even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats for illegally entering Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

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Published 25 June 2024, 09:56 IST

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