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Sri Lankan Navy Arrests 55 Indian Fishermen & Seizes 8 Boats

On December 19, the Sri Lankan Navy seized eight Indian fishing vessels and arrested 55 fishermen on suspicion of poaching.

Shivam Dwivedi
Palk Strait & Gulf of Mannar
Palk Strait & Gulf of Mannar

On December 19, the Sri Lankan Navy seized eight Indian fishing vessels and arrested 55 fishermen on suspicion of poaching.

A fast attack craft from the 4th Fast Attack Craft Flotilla attached to the Northern Naval Command seized 6 trawlers and arrested 43 fishermen from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu, southeast of Delft Island (Neduntheevu), Jaffna, in the early hours, according to Sri Lankan government agencies.

The operation was carried out in accordance with the COVID-19 protocol. They stated that plans were being made to hand over the fishermen to the appropriate authorities for legal action following rapid antigen tests.

According to the agencies, the Navy conducts regular patrols in Sri Lankan waters to combat illegal fishing. During the day, the Navy apprehended 12 Mandapam fishermen and seized two trawlers.

The 12 fishermen were taken to a Sri Lankan naval camp, according to reports received by the fishermen in Rameswaram. According to a senior officer in Chennai's Fisheries Department, it was unclear whether they would be arrested or released with a warning.

As word spread through the coastal hamlets, representatives from fishermen associations convened in the forenoon. “The Union and state governments should intervene immediately to protect all fishermen and bring the trawlers back.” “Until then, the fishermen will not go out into the sea,” said Jesu Raja, a fishermen's leader.

The representatives charged the Union government with ignoring the community.

The fishermen had not crossed the maritime boundary, as Sri Lanka claimed. According to Jesu Raja, it had become routine for the Sri Lankan Navy to blame the Indian fishermen for trespass and arrest them with force.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M.K. Stalin spoke to External Affairs Minister S. Jaisankar seeking his intervention to get the fishermen and the boats released.

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