RAMANATHAPURAM: Fifteen Indian fishermen, including a 15-year-old boy, along with two mechanized boats were arrested in mid sea by the Lankan navy during the wee hours of Tuesday. The island nation navy personnel also chased away several fishermen who reportedly trespassed into the Lankan waters.
Fisheries department sources said that fishermen had ventured into the sea after a gap of 40 days. Around 638 mechanised boats ventured into the sea on Monday. Among these, one of the boats suffered damages owing to bad condition in the sea and started sinking. The five inmates identified as James, Ratchagar, Maria Ranjith, Glinston and Zelastin, jumped into the sea and were struggling for life. Four other fishermen who spotted them, rescued the stranded five and lifted them into their boat. While, the nine fishermen were returning to the shore, Lankan navy personnel intercepted the boat and detained all of them.
Later, they were taken to the island nation and produced before Keits court, which ordered to remand them till September 16. All the nine were subsequently lodged in Jaffna prison.
Besides, another boat sank owing to the rough weather in the sea. Four inmates, Selvam, Murugan, Sakthivel and another one fisherman, were rescued by their colleagues, who were netting in the region. The four fishermen then reached Rameswaram shore safely.
Amid these developments, the Lankan navy detained another batch of six fishermen, including Varaprasatham, Baskaran, Boominathan, Namburajan, Muralidharan and Robin, while they were returning to the shore. All of them were later handed over to Fisheries department officials at Colombo.
The arrest of the 15 persons by Lanka has come as a big blow to the coastal community as the fishermen ventured into the sea after a break of 40 days because of the indefinite strike observed by various associations.