Sri Lankan Navy accused of chasing away 1700 Tamil Nadu fishermen from island waters
Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu have accused the Sri Lankan Navy personnel of snapping their fishing nets and chasing them back to Indian waters while they were fishing near the Katchatheevu islet this morning.
A fisheries official in Rameswaram has told PTI that the nets of 75 mechanized boats were snapped after rounding them up allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel off Katchatheevu islet and over 1700 Tamil Nadu fishermen were forced to return without their catch.
The Tamil Nadu fishermen from Rameswaram were fishing near Katchatheevu when Sri Lankan naval personnel came in four boats and threatened them, Tamil Nadu Mechanized Boats Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told reporters. They also snapped the nets of 75 boats, he added.
Following the threat, all the fishermen have returned to the shore, Sesuraja said.
The mid-sea incident came after a spate of detentions of the fishermen this month on charges of poaching fish in Sri Lankan waters.
A total of 53 fishermen have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy this month for poaching in Sri Lanka's territorial waters.
Tamil Nadu fishermen poaching in Sri Lankan waters use destructive bottom trawling to catch fish, a practice banned by Sri Lanka, depleting Sri Lanka's marine resources.
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