Sri Lankan Navy arrests 16 fishermen off Nagai coast
Fisherfolk representatives from the two districts have sought action from the state government to repatriate their colleagues and retrieve the boats.
Published: 13th March 2023 06:00 AM | Last Updated: 13th March 2023 06:00 AM | A+A A-
KARAIKAL: As many as 16 fishermen from the districts of Nagapattinam and Pudukkottai were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy off the Nagapattinam coast on Sunday for fishing in foreign waters. Fishing gears and two boats were also seized.
Sources said 16 fishermen in two batches had ventured into sea on March 8 and Saturday morning respectively. They were apprehended while casting nets southeast of Kodiyakarai in the wee hours of Sunday and handed over to local authorities for the prosecution at Myliddy fishing harbour in Jaffna district.
Fisherfolk representatives from the two districts have sought action from the state government to repatriate their colleagues and retrieve the boats. Officials of the fisheries department, in response, said they have submitted reports to the government.
Of the arrested fishers, seven hail from Akkaraipettai and three from Keechankuppam in Nagapattinam, and they went out to sea with boat owner T Velmayil. Four fishers, led by boat owner L Arockiyaraj, went out the second batch.
Meanwhile, PMK founder Dr S Ramadoss and TMC (M) president GK Vasan condemned the arrest of the fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy. Ramadoss took to Twitter to express his dismay and called upon both the state and central governments to take immediate action to secure their release and boats. He also stressed the need for a permanent solution to the longstanding issue of Tamil Nadu fishermen being arrested by Lankan authorities.
Similarly, GK Vasan issued a press statement expressing concern over the plight of the arrested fishermen and the impact it would have on their livelihoods. He urged the minister of external affairs to intervene and ensure the early release of the fishermen.
Earlier on Wednesday, the Lankan Navy in a news statement, had notified of intensifying patrol along the IMBL to prevent foreign fishermen from trespassing into their waters. According to the Navy, about 36 Indian trawlers were seized in 2022 and two this year.