Sri Lankan navy arrests 10 Indian fishermen for poaching
The Sri Lankan navy has arrested 10 Indian fishermen and seized their trawlers for suspected poaching in the country’s territorial waters, an official statement said on Tuesday. The fishermen were arrested off the northeast coast of Mullaithivu on Monday. A Navy fast attack craft had pursued the Indian fishermen before they were arrested, the statement said.
They were brought to the eastern port of Trincomalee and handed over to Trincomalee Fisheries Inspectorate for further action, the Navy said. In recent years, there have been periodic cases of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
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Members of the Sri Lankan navy have even shot at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seized their boats. The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for anglers from both countries.
The issue of fishermen is a contentious one in India-Sri Lanka relations, with Lankan Navy personnel even shooting Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegal entry into the waters Sri Lankan territories.