Seven Indian fishermen detained by Sri Lankan Navy in Palk Strait; held for intruding into territorial waters

The Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday detained seven Indian fishermen along with two boats near Neduntheevu Island in the Palk Strait, ANI reported.

The fishermen from Mandapam near Rameswaram were fishing at Neduntheevu, close to the island nation's coast and taken to Kangesanthurai port there, Assistant Director of Fisheries, Gopinath said. The detention of fishermen is latest in a series of arrests by the island nation this year. On 9 July, three Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy.

On July 6, eight fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.

Representational image. AFP

Representational image. AFP

The Tamil Nadu government, on two separate occasions in the past month, requested the Centre to intervene and take necessary steps to ensure that Indian fishermen were not repeatedly detained.

The state had expressed concern on 26 June over the "alarming increase" in number of "attacks" on Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy and sought the Centre's intervention for release of all 42 captured in 2017.

Referring to a spate of "distressing" arrests of Indian fishermen from his state in the month of June, Chief Minister E Palaniswamy said such apprehensions have had a "demoralising impact" on fishermen as well as the people of the state.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Palaniswamy, on Monday, said that 9 July's arrest and the recent legislation enacted by the Sri Lankan Parliament regarding impounding of boats and imposing huge fines on Indian fishermen caused "fear and unrest" among the fisherfolk.

The Tamil Nadu government has maintained that the retrieval of Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, was the "only solution" to the vexed fishermen's issue.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Jul 13, 2017 11:31 AM

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