Chennai, June 20 (BPNS)
The Sri Lankan navy has detained nine fishermen from Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu after their mechanized boat crossed the Indian Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and ventured into Sri Lankan waters.
The incident took place during the early morning hours of Tuesday.
Sources in the Tamil Nadu coastal police told BPNS that the fishermen had ventured into the sea on June 19,2023 expecting a fish catch but the mechanical engine of their boat developed technical glitches. The sources said that following the technical glitch, the vessel ventured into the Tamil Nadu waters at Nadantheevu.
A Sri Lankan Naval vessel that was passing through the area found the boat inside Sri Lankan waters and took the fishermen for questioning at the Kankensanturai Naval base for questioning.
It may be noted that several Indian fishermen were earlier arrested for crossing Sri Lankan waters. While most of the arrested fishermen were released following the court’s ruling in favour of them and on the basis of diplomatic intervention, the mechanized fishing boats that cost a fortune are apprehended.
Jose Thomas, a fisherman at Ramanathapuram while speaking to BPNS said, “ We are venturing into the sea expecting a good catch and to support our family. However occasionally unintentionally we reach into Sri Lankan waters. We are arrested and our mechanized boats that cost lakhs of rupees are impounded. Even after the men are released, the mechanized boats that cost a fortune for us are apprehended and not released. This affects us largely as our only vocation is fishing and these mechanized boats are our bread and butter.”