Stalin terms fishermen arrest challenge to India

Going into the data of fishermen arrests, Stalin said 198 fishermen were arrested in this year alone.
MEA Jaishankar; CM Stalin
MEA Jaishankar; CM StalinFile photo

CHENNAI: Citing the recent arrest of fourteen Tamil fishermen, Chief Minister MK Stalin on Thursday said that so far 198 Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy in one year and urged Union External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar to take steps to release the fishermen apprehended by Sri Lankan Navy, at the earliest.

“I wish to draw your attention to yet another incident of apprehension of Tamil Nadu fishermen along with their mechanised fishing boat by the Sri Lankan Navy on the night of November 16. In this year alone, 198 Tamil Nadu fishermen were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy,” said Stalin, in a DO letter.

He also said that the frequent imprisonments and seizure/damage of boats by the Sri Lankan Navy have shattered the livelihood of fishermen who are totally dependent on fishing. Even after repeated appeals from the Indian side, these apprehensions continue to take place and presently 100 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen were held in Sri Lanka.

“At this moment, I would like to reiterate that the government of Tamil Nadu is keen on protecting the traditional fishing rights of the Indian fishermen. The Sri Lankan Navy’s continued act of infringements upon the traditional rights of our fishermen in the Palk Bay area appear like a challenge to India. I request that the diplomatic steps required in this regard may kindly be taken so that it does not recur,” said Stalin.

Lankan Navy arrests 14 more Indian fishermen

NAGAPATTINAM: Sri Lankan Navy arrested 14 Indian fishermen and seized a mechanized fishing boat on the charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and indulging in illegal poaching in their territorial waters late on Wednesday night. Official sources said here on Thursday that the fishermen, hailing from Nagapattinam, Pudukkottai and Karaikal districts, ventured into the sea from Karaikal port on Wednesday morning on a mechanised fishing trawler and were arrested by the Sri Lankan Naval personnel, when they were fishing near the IMBL close to Lankan territorial waters. Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan Navy said in a statement that it had conducted a special operation leading to the seizure of an Indian trawler with 14 Indian fishermen poaching in the Island’s waters off Mamunei in Veththalakerni, Jaffna. The seized trawler together with 14 Indian fishermen were brought to the Kankesanthurai harbour and they will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Office in Jaffna for onward legal proceedings. The Sri Lankan Navy had held 228 Indian fishermen and 30 Indian trawlers so far this year.

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