Rameswaram (TN), Sep 27: More than 2,000 fishermen from this island were forced to return today without catch after Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of 30 mechanised boats near Katchatheevu.
The fishermen had put out to sea in 450 mechanised boats last night and were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Strait when the Lankan Naval men rounded up nearly 30 boats and snapped the fishing nets and asked all the fishermen to return, Rameswaram Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told reporters here.
They also warned them against fishing near Katchatheevu, following which all of them returned to the shores this morning, 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.
On August 8, the Tamil Nadu government had informed the state assembly that retrieval of Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, and restoration of the traditional fishing rights of the fishermen in the Palk Bay area were its topmost agenda.