Srilankan Navy arrest Indian fishermen, seizes boats

Srilankan Navy arrest Indian fishermen, seizes boats

NEW DELHI - Seven Indian fishermen on Thursday were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy, which also snapped the fishing nets of at least 50 vessels while they were allegedly fishing near Katchatheevu islet.

The fishermen from this island town had ventured into the sea in 370 boats on Wednesday and were fishing close to Katchatheevu when the Sri Lankan naval personnel arrived at the spot and asked them to leave,

Fisheries Department Assistant Director S Manikandan said. They also cut off the fishing nets of 50 boats, he said.

While seven of them were arrested and taken to Thalaimannar in the island nation, all the others returned to the shore this morning. Meanwhile, leaders of the Fishermen Association in Rameswaram claimed that the Indo-Sri Lankan agreements in 1974 and 1976 allowed the Indian fishermen to engage in fishing activities in Katchatheevu.

They also urged the Centre to intervene and take steps to put an end to the recurring attacks on the fishermen and to secure the release of 133 fisherfolk languishing in the island nation’s prisons.