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Minor among 15 Indian fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy

The navy also confiscated two boats of the fishermen. The fishermen are from Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu…reports Asian Lite News

Sri Lankan Navy have arrested 15 Indian fishermen, including a minor, from Tamil Nadu on charges of fishing in their country’s waters after crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

The navy also confiscated two boats of the fishermen. The fishermen are from Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu.

A 12-year-old boy was also among the fishermen arrested in the sea.

According to Rameswram fishermen, around 2,500 people had gone fishing on Saturday evening and while they were fishing at Dhanushkodi near Talaimannar, the Sri Lankan Navy reached the spot and chased them away.

Fishermen association leaders told IANS that 15 fishermen were surrounded by the Naval vessels and arrested. Two mechanized boats were also in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy.

The fishermen have been taken to the Talaimannar Naval camp and after questioning will be handed over to the Sri Lankan fisheries department.

Several fishermen from Tamil Nadu have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on charges of crossing the IMBL and their mechanised fishing boats confiscated. The confiscation of costly mechanized fishing boats have brought serious financial woes to the fishermen.

Fishermen bodies hold strike

After the Sri Lankan navy apprehended Indian fishermen and boats, Rameswaram fishermen associations decided to hold a three-day strike to condemn inaction by state and central governments, said Fishermen Association District Secretary Jesuraj.

The fishermen have condemned the Central and State Governments for not taking any action to stop the ongoing transgressive activities of the Sri Lankan Navy, added the District Secretary.

In this regard, in an emergency meeting of Fishermans Associations held at Rameswaram fishing harbour today.

68 fishermen released

The Supreme Court was informed by the Centre on Friday that 68 Indian fishermen, caught by Sri Lankan Navy in December 2021, have been released and repatriated to the country.

A bench of Justices Aniruddha Bose and Vikram Nath while taking into note the status report filed by the Centre closed that case which sought direction to the Centre to negotiate with the Sri Lankan government authorities to release the arrested Indian fisherman and their mechanised boat.

“We have perused the status report filed on behalf of the Union of India supported by an affidavit dated October 28, 2022. It has been stated in this report that all the 68 Indian fishermen who were apprehended between 18th to 20th December 2021 by Sri Lankan Navy, have been released and repatriated to this country. In such circumstances, we do not find any reason to keep the present petition pending. Accordingly, the same is disposed of,” the bench stated in its order.

The top court was hearing a plea filed by one KK Ramesh regarding the arrested fishermen and 10 boats which have been seized by the Sri Lankan Navy in December 2021 on the grounds of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line while fishing.

The petition also stated that more than 100 fishermen have been illegally arrested and kept in Sri Lankan prisons where they are ill-treated, which is a violation of Human Rights.

During the hearing when the petitioner’s counsel asked the court to look into the issue regarding the marine boundary between India and Sri Lanka which has resulted in such incidents, the bench said that it cannot get into the issues regarding international treaties.

On the request of the advocate to pass directions regarding the release of the mechandised boats of the fishermen, the apex court asked him to approach the jurisdictional court. (IANS/ANI)

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