Chennai, July 25 (BPNS)
Nine fishermen from Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy for fishing in Sri Lankan waters. Two mechanized fishing boats were also impounded.
The arrested are Manikantan, Arummugam, Jayaseelan, Velu, Kumar,Nallathambi, Irulandi, Suresh and Sivathaporiyan.
The fishermen, according to Tamil Nadu state fisheries department , were arrested during early morning hours of Tuesday. The nine fishermen had gone into the sea expecting a catch on Monday, July 24, 2023 and were to return home on Tuesday afternoon. However they are now in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.
The Sri Lankan Navy has taken the fishermen to Kankesuntharai port in the island nation on charges of poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
It is to be recalled that 15 fishermen from Rameswaram were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on July 9, 2023 on charges of crossing the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL).
Fishermen leader S. Jesu Raja told media persons that the Sri Lankan Prime Minister Renil Wickramasinge has had a detailed meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi a week before. The fishermen leader said that the two would not have discussed on the Sri Lankan fishermen issue.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Ramanathapuram on July 28 to flag off the ‘Padayatra’ of BJP Tamil Nadu state president, K. Annamalai.
Fishermen association leaders told BPNS that more than 110 boats have been impounded by the Sri Lankan Navy since 2018. The leaders said that this has led to losses to the tune of crores of rupees to the fishermen and has also resulted in large-scale unemployment for the fishers.
Antony John, a fishermen leader of Ramanathapuram told BPNS that the fishermen are in misery due to the regular arrests and impounding of mechanized fishing boats. He said that after the fishing boats get impounded many of the fishermen turn jobless.
The fishermen’s leader called upon the Union government to immediately intervene in the matter and to resolve the issue.