Sri Lanka Arrests 48 Indian Fishermen Sparking Fresh Tension

Gladys Abbott
August 8, 2017

Along with fishermen, 12 fishing trawlers were taken into custody last night and this morning, Navy said. These fishermen had ventured into Sri Lankan waters and practiced illegal bottom trawling which is considered as a destructive fishing method.

The navy men allegedly rammed their boats against the mechanised vessels and under its impact four fishermen fell into the sea and were rescued by the naval personnel immediately. They have been accused of indulging in bottom trawling which is outlawed in Sri Lanka, Naval spokesman Commander Chaminda Walakuluge said. "Twelve mechanized boats of the fishermen were also seized", Shivakumar, a senior official of Tamil Nadu's fisheries department told the Press Trust of India.

Almost 50 Indian fishermen were arrested on Tuesday by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters.

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India's Minister for External Affairs VK Singh said on August 2 in Parliament that there were 15 Indian fishermen are in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities as on 31 July 2017.

The incident took place when a routine patrolling party of Fast Attack Craft (FAC) detected movement and found the fishermen found illegally fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters.

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