The Sri Lankan Navy allegedly chased Indian fishermen from their waters and snatched global positioning system (GPS) gadgets and cellphones from them in mid-sea, near Katchatheevu on Saturday.
As many as 652 mechanised boats had ventured into the sea for fishing on Saturday. In the high seas, a group of Lankan Navy personnel surrounded some of the Indian boats and chased them away from their waters after taking away the GPS units from three fishermen and cellphones from two others. Following the incident, many returned with poor catches on Sunday.
However, no complaint was lodged with the fisheries department till the evening.
Jesu of Thankatchimadam, a fisherman, stated that the Lankan navy personnel snatched the GPS and cellphones from some fishermen when they were fishing near Katchativu.
Moreover, some fishermen association leaders voiced concern over the use of banned nets by a section of fishermen that affected the livelihood of the Lankan fishermen. The Lankan fishermen had sought redressal from the Lankan government to protect their marine wealth. Sunday’s action was a result of this, they said.
N J Bose, leader of a fishermen association in Rameswaram, said some political leaders encouraged fishermen who used banned nets and action should be taken against them.