Chennai, Feb 8 (IANS) The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 19 fishermen from Tamil Nadu in the wee hours of Thursday for crossing the International Maritime Border Line (IMBl) and poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
The fishermen were arrested from the deep sea near Neduntheevu and their boats were impounded. The arrested fishers are from Rameswaram and Thangachimadam fishing hamlets.
Tamil Nadu fisheries department officials told IANS that the arrested fishermen were said to be engaged in fishing near the Neduntheevu islet in two boats. The boats are owned by Alex and Anton Sasikumar.
Tamil Nadu fisheries officials said that all the 19 fishermen were taken to Kankesanthurai Port for further investigation.
It may be noted that four days ago fishermen from Thangachimadam and Rameswaram were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy. In protest, the fishermen stayed away from venturing into the sea the following day.
Political parties and fishermen union leaders had condemned the incident and had demanded that the Union Government get the fishermen released from the island nation.
It is to be noted that several fishermen from Tamil Nadu are in judicial custody in Sri Lanka for crossing the IMBL and poaching in Sri Lankan waters.
Around 150 mechanised boats each costing around Rs 1 crore are in the custody of Sri Lankan authorities. The fishermen associations are likely to hold an urgent meeting in the coastal district on their next course of action.