Lankan Navy arrests 15 TN fishermen; chase away boats

Rameswaram (TN): Sri Lanka Navy arrested 15 fishermen for allegedly fishing in Lankan waters and also chased at gun point fishermen near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, officials said today.

The 15 fishermen had put to sea in two boats from Akkaraipettai in Nagapattinam and were arrested when they were fishing at Kaarai Nagar on Monday night. They have been taken to Kangesanthurai in Sri Lanka, Joint director of Fisheries department Subburaj said.

In the other incident, fishing nets and equipment of more than 60 boats were damaged and thrown in to the sea and the fishermen, who had ventured into the sea from here in 638 boats, chased away at gun point allegedly by the Lankan Navy while they were fishing near Katchatheevu last night, fishermen organisation functionaries S.Emerite and Sagayaraj said.

They claimed that Lankan Naval personnel warned them not to fish in the area and threatened them, brandishing guns. Also, they cut the fishing nets of more than 60 boats and damaged some fishing equipment and threw them all in to the sea.

A boat also sank when they were chased by Lankan Naval personnel and the five occupants were rescued by their fellow fishermen, they said. The fishermen returned to the shore without fishing, the representatives added.

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