Colombo: Sri Lanka today claimed to have "rescued" 8 Indian fishermen who it said were distressed at sea even as officials in Tamil Nadu said that they had been arrested for alleged poaching.

The fishermen were found off the coast of Kankesanturai in the northern Jaffna peninsula, the Sri Lankan navy said. They have now been handed over to the fisheries inspectorate at the Delft islet, the navy said.

However, Fisheries Department officials in Tamil Nadu yesterday alleged that the fishermen were arrested near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, and were taken to Thalaimannar along with their boat.