Sri Lankan Navy arrests 8 Indian fishers; 5th incident in Febtext_fields
Rameswaram: The Srilankan Navy had arrested eight Indian fishers on Sunday while the latter were fishing off Katchatheevu, PTI reported citing a fisheries department official. This was the fifth such incident in February.
The official said that several fishers left Rameswaram on February 26 and were at work in the Palk Strait. Srilankan Navy arrived and detained eight of them, he added.
Fishing associations here informed that the Navy cut their fishing nets and thrown them away.
In recent weeks, the Sri Lankan Navy had arrested Indian fishers multiple times.
The Sri Lankan Navy has been conducting a regular patrol to restrict foreign fishers from entering Sri Lankan waters and poaching. The Navy had arrested 12 Indian fishers on February 13 and 11 on February 8, while another 21 on February 1. On February 23, the force arrested 22 fishers, and Sri Lankan Navy said that the arrestees performed bottom trolling. In all four instances, the Navy had seized fishers' equipment.
The February arrests happened when Sri Lanka was preparing to repatriate 56 fishers arrested in December. Since the arrests have been affecting ties between the two nations, Indian External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris had held talks in mid-February.
However, the fishing community has demanded the government find a permanent solution to the issue, where their members keep getting arrested.