Rameswaram, Jul 28 : The Sri Lanka Navy on Sunday apprehended seven Indian fishermen and confiscated their mechanized fishing trawler for allegedly straying into the territorial waters of the Island nation.
Fisheries officials said here that the fishermen had put out to sea in the fishing boat bearing Registration Number ‘IND TN 10 MM 654’ from Rameswaram fishing jetty on Saturday morning. When they were fishing near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), their boat developed a technical snag and inadvertently drifted into the Sri Lankan waters due to inclement weather. However, the Sri Lankan naval craft on patrol arrested them for trespassing into their territorial waters.
The incarcerated fishermen and their boat were taken to Mannar for interrogation and subsequent onward legal action. The arrested fishermen were identified as Joseph Paulraj (37), Benito (40), Nagaraj (45), Innasi (22), Subramani (35), Muniyasamy (48) and Sathiyaseelan (25). This is the third instance of arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan Navy so far this month.
Earlier, the Lankan Navy detained six fishermen along with a fishing boat from Nambuthalai in Ramanathapuram district on July 12 and in the second instance, it arrested four fishermen of Pudukkottai district with a boat on July 24 on the charges of cross border fishing.
Meanwhile, Ramanathapuram Member of Parliament K.Nawaz Kani appealed to External Affairs Minister S.Jaishankar to take immediate steps for the release of all the arrested fishermen and their boats from the custody of Sri Lanka.
He urged Mr Jaishankar to hold talks with his Sri Lankan counterpart to resolve the long persisting fishing rights issue and protect the livelihood of Tamil Nadu fishermen. (UNI)