Rameswaram, Aug 17 (UNI) After a lull, the Srilankan navy allegedly beat up Indian fishermen and tore their fishing nets at mid-sea near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the wee hours, today.
Official sources here, said a group of 2,604 fishermen from the Island town of Rameswaram sailed in 651 mechanized fishing boats for fishing yesterday morning.
While they were fishing near the IMBL, a flotilla of Srilankan naval vessels rounded up at least four fishing boats. The Srilankan naval personnel boarded Indian fishing vessels at gun point and beat up 16 fishermen, damaging the fishing nets and seized several kg of fishes and prawns from the boat. They also warned the fishermen not to enter into Lankan territorial waters, before leaving the place.
However, unofficial sources quoting fishermen said the Lankan navy opened few warning shots in the air.
Soon after the incident, 30 fishing boats hurriedly returned to the Rameswaram shore. The fishermen, who reached the shore today informed the matter to the fisheries' department.
Tense situation prevailed in the coastal hamlets in Rameswaram on hearing the incident.
The frequent killing of Indian fishermen by Srilankan navy during the past few months triggered sporadic protests from the fishing folk forcing the Indian government to take up the matter with the Srilankan government.
UNI GSM DB ROY AE RK1830