Sri Lankan Navy arrests 73 Indian fishermen

Colombo, June 8: The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 73 Indian fishermen for poaching in Sri Lankan waters, a navy spokesman said Sunday.

The arrest came just days after 33 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan custody were freed on the instructions of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Navy spokesman Kosala Warnakulasuriya told Xinhua said that 41 Indians were arrested off the northern Thalaimannar seas with seven boats overnight while another 32 Indians were arrested with eight boats off the Delft Islands in the north.

He said that the fishermen were brought ashore to be handed over to the relevant officials for the next course of action.

Last week President Rajapaksa freed 33 Indians as a goodwill measure towards the new Indian government, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, Sri Lankan fishermen accused India of failing to reciprocate the goodwill gesture by releasing Sri Lankan fishermen in Indian custody.

The issue of fishermen from India and Sri Lanka crossing the international maritime boundary has led to a conflict between fishermen of both countries.

An attempt last month to resolve the issue failed after talks between fishermen from both countries ended in a deadlock.


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