The Sri Lankan navy arrested 35 Pamban fishermen and seized four boats off Rameswaram coast on Sunday.
Sources said that fishermen in over 90 mechanised boats had ventured into the sea from Pamban shore on Saturday and had cast the net in the waters around Gulf of Mannar (GoM).
Meanwhile, the Lankan navy personnel surrounded the Indian boats and whisked away 35 fishermen for straying into their waters.
A fishermen association leader said that the 35 fishermen were at present at Kalpitya police station and were expected to be produced before Puthalam court later.
Legal Advice Sought
Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya said that the island nation navy on Sunday arrested 35 Indian fishermen in four vessels poaching in Lankan waters off Kalpitya, 150 km north of Colombo,
Normally, Tamil Nadu fishermen do not come so far South. They fish around Mannar, Jaffna and Mullaitivu districts in the Lanka North and North-East. However, since March this year, they have shown a tendency to poach in South Western Lankan waters, he alleged.
The Lankan government’s current policy is to arrest and prosecute the intruding fishermen. At present 106 of them are being prosecuted at various places.
The Lankan Fisheries Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne said that the government was seeking legal advice on whether it can release the fishermen and confiscate the boats.