Rameswaram (TN), Sep 22: More than 200 fishermen from this island were forced to return without their catch after they were allegedly chased away by the Sri Lankan naval personnel for fishing off Katchatheevu islet.
The incident occurred last evening when the fishermen, who had set out in 50 boats, were fishing near Katchatheevu, Rameswaram Fishermen's Association President P Sesuraja said adding Sri Lankan authorities had warned them against fishing in their territorial waters before driving them off.
There has been an increase in such incidents in the last one month, he said.
Fishermen in the region have accused the Sri Lankan navy of preventing them from fishing in their territorial waters.
Several fishermen are deprived of their livelihood and are migrating to neighbouring states in search of jobs, he said.
Sesuraja urged the Centre to take steps to retrieve Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka, so that fishermen could fish in their traditional areas.
The fishermen's association also sought the retrieval of 103 boats still in the custody of the island nation.
On September 13, over 3,000 fishermen from Rameswaram were forced to return without catch after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of 50 mechanised boats near Katchatheevu.