Fifty three Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu were apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy last night and when they were fishing near Neduntheevu. The Lankan Navy also detained thirteen fishing boats.
The Lankan Navy apprehended fifty three fishermen including forty four fishermen from Ramanathapuram and nine fishermen from Pudukottai district last night according to local fishermen sources in Rameswaram.
The fishermen from Tamil Nadu say that they are fishing only in traditional fishing zones in Palk Straits. After the intervention of central government seventy seven fishermen from Tamil Nadu were released by Sri Lankan humanitarian grounds.
However Sri Lanka did not release 148 fishing boats of Indian fishermen detained by Lankan Navy. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched a scheme at Rameswaram to give subsidy to Indian fishermen to buy deep sea fishing boats so that they can avoid fishing in Lankan waters.
As per information received, the nine fishermen arrested last night have been handed over to Karainagar fisheries department for further legal action. Sri Lanka has been releasing Indian fishermen from time to time on humanitarian grounds but the boats are mostly retained.
The fishermen issue has been a lingering problem between the two countries and both sides have formed a Joint Working Group to discuss the issue.