Coast guard arrests 21 Sri Lankan fishermen

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Chennai, Feb 29 : Coast guard officials today arrested 21 Sri Lankan fishermen who had strayed into India's territorial waters.

The fishermen were taken into custody by the officials off the coast of southern Karaikal in Pondicherry in Tamil Nadu.

They were later taken to Chennai where they were handed over to the local police for further interrogation.

The Sri Lankan authorities however, claimed that all those arrested were innocent and had strayed into Indian waters by mistake.

"Altogether 21 people, all innocent fishermen from Sri Lanka. They don't know what they were doing, where they were going, so we are now enquiring where they were headed," said Thassin, an official from Sri Lankan Embassy.

The police also took into custody four fishing trawlers belonging to the fishermen.

Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen often cross over into each other's territorial waters by mistake and get caught.


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