South Asia

Four Tamil Nadu Fishermen Arrested, Interrogated by Sri Lankan Navy

A fisherman casts his fishing net into the waters of Vembanad Lake on the outskirts of southern Indian city of Kochi October 1, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V

A fisherman casts his fishing net into the waters of Vembanad Lake on the outskirts of southern Indian city of Kochi October 1, 2014. Credit: Reuters/Sivaram V

Rameswaram: Four Indian fishermen were arrested today, while allegedly fishing near Neduntheevu, by Sri Lankan naval personnel. Neduntheevu is a small island near Jaffna in north Sri Lanka.

This is the second instance of arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen this week after the detention of seven others on Tuesday, the very first day they went to sea following the end of a 45-day breeding season ban on fishing by trawlers.

The four fishermen from Kottaipattinam in the Pudukottai district were arrested this morning and taken to Kangesanthurai Port for interrogation by Sri Lankan officials, Assistant Director of Fisheries Sekar said.

In another incident, the fishing nets of 15 boats, belonging to Indian fishermen, were allegedly snapped by Sri Lankan naval officers when they were fishing near Katchateevu.

The fishermen from this island, onboard 697 boats, were fishing in the Palk Strait when Lankan naval officers chased away many found fishing in their territory, local fishermen association President T Sesuraj said.

The association had yesterday condemned the arrest of the seven fishermen and urged Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to seek the centre’s intervention and arrange for talks between the fishermen community of the two countries to resolve the dispute over fishing in “traditional” areas (Katchatheevu).

Jayalalithaa had already written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking his intervention to secure the release of the seven fishermen and boats in the custody of Sri Lanka.