The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested four Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu on charges of allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
The arrested have been identified as Shakthivel (32), Thiruselvan (41), Shakthivel (24) and Pandian (37).
Sources in the Tamil Nadu Coastal marine police told IANS that the fishermen were arrested on Wednesday and taken to Kankesanthurai harbour in Sri Lanka for further questioning.
The fishermen had left from Mayiladuthurai in Tamil Nadu on Tuesday and were fishing near the IMBL when the Sri Lankan Navy arrested them on charges of crossing into the Sri Lankan waters and were taken into custody.
The mechanized fishing boat of the Tamil Nadu fishermen was also confiscated by the Sri Lankan Navy.
It may be noted that the Sri Lankan Navy had arrested several Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu on charges of crossing International waters and poaching in the Lankan waters. The fishermen organisations in Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai, and Myladuthurai districts had conducted several agitations against the regular arrest of fishermen from these areas.
Many fishermen from these coastal districts of Tamil Nadu are now fearing to go fishing in the sea as the arrests and confiscation of costly mechanized boats by the Sri Lankan Navy have become a norm.
R. Swaminathan, a leader of the fishermen association in Pudukottai while speaking to IANS said, “The arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu and confiscation of the mechanized fishing boats have become regular and we don’t want to take a risk in this matter. We urge the state and the Central governments to take this issue up with the Sri Lankan government as many fishermen fears going into the waters for the job that gives them their bread and butter.”