Rameshwaram : Boats venturing across the water territory again caught attention of Navy vigilance, but this time Indian fishermen got stuck on the other side of water fence. The Sri Lankan navy today arrested 24 fishermen from Rameshwaram waters and also chased away at gun point several others for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits.
Occupational fishermen who survive on fishing ventured out in the darkness of night and took position in their boats, spreading the nets to catch upon the water Pisces. But, the group was as large as more then 3,000 fishermen in 600 boats, who together with each other’s support and courage, put out to sea from here last night. To their dismay, the night sea hawks from the neighboring country were on patrol. The Lankan navy personnel came in 10 patrol boats and sea bikes, threatened the fishermen and arrested 24 of them besides chasing away others at gun point, fishermen organisation leaders S Emerite and Sagayaraj said. The fishermen leader added that livelihood of fishermen would be hit hard if the Sri Lankan navy continued the arrests besides threatening them while fishing in traditional waters. Fishermen wanted the Centre and state governments to take necessary steps to prevent such incidents.
Fishermen claimed that they were fishing in traditional waters, near Katchatheevu in Palk Straits. Just two days ago, on October 10, the navy personnel had arrested 19 fishermen from Nagapattinam district on charges of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line. This arrest had compelled the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to communicate with the central government. TN CM wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take up the continued arrests of state’s fishermen at a high political level with Sri Lanka.