MADURAI: Six fishermen, who belong to Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of cross border fishing. The arrests were made during the late hours on Wednesday after the fishermen aboard a mechanised boat allegedly trespassed into the island nation’s waters, sources said.
According to Regional Joint Director of Fisheries, Ramanathapuram E Kathavarayan, the department got information about the arrest of fishermen early on Thursday. The fishermen after receiving a permit token issued by the Fisheries Department ventured into the sea off Rameswaram on Wednesday morning in a boat being owned by A Arokiyam of Verkodu, Rameswaram.
A total of 539 boats, including the one detained by the Lankan Navy, ventured into sea on Wednesday. After enquiries, Kathavarayan said the Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended near Katchatheevu and taken to Talaimannar where they were being produced before Mannar court and remanded till August 4, he said.
The arrested fishermen were identified as Antony Christopher (37), Thangapandi (68), Ajith Kumar (21), Madhagu Pichai (44), Anand Balan (27) and Arjunan (22).
P Jesuraja, president, Ramanathapuram District All Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association, said it’s the first apprehension of Rameswaram fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy after the annual fishing ban along the East Coast of Tamil Nadu was lifted. He said that the Sri Lankan government should instruct its naval force not to arrest the Tamil Nadu fishermen like the treatment being given by India to Sri Lankan refugees, who keep arriving in Tamil Nadu in recent months.