Tension: Lankan, Tamil fishermen fishing in troubled water

Chennai, Feb 26: It seems fishermen of both Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka are facing great trouble in eking out their livelihood. Moreover, the issue of accusing each other of alleged trespassing into their respective territorial waters is not new.

Latest in the row is alleged attack on a group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan naval men. Informing about the report, an official of fisheries department said Lankan naval men attacked fishermen from Tamil Nadu, as they were fishing near Katchatheevu.

Katchatheevu is an islet in the Palk Straits ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974.

"The fishermen from this coastal area had ventured for fishing in 20 boats," said an official.

"Lankan naval men allegedly attacked them with ropes and steel pipes causing extensive damage to their fishing nets and communication equipment," he added.

"The Lankan naval men even stuffed sugar in the engine of one of the mechanised boats and paralysed it," alleged a boat-owner. "The naval personnel also seized the catch and warned that they would open fire next time if they were seen near Katchatheevu," rued a fisherman.

Moreover, 21 fishermen who had been arrested by the Indian Coast Guard on charges of trespassing into the Indian waters and poaching have been released, informed a Sri Lanka Fisheries Ministry media spokesman. The Lankan fishermen are likely to reach their country on Wednesday, Feb 27.

"Four fishing vessels seized by the Indian security have also been released with the fishermen," said the spokesman.

OneIndia News

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