Sri Lanka arrests 10 Indian fishermen for allegedly poaching in its waters; second incident in week

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Colombo, Jan 15 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 10 Indian fishermen and seized their trawler for allegedly poaching in the island nation's waters, an official statement said on Monday, two days after 12 fishermen from India were apprehended on similar charges.

The fishermen were arrested, and their trawler seized on Sunday north of Point Pedro, Jaffna, the Sri Lanka Navy said in a press release.

The ten apprehended fishermen were escorted to the Kankesanthurai harbour and will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for further action, it said.

On Saturday, as many as 12 Indian fishermen were arrested, and their three trawlers seized for allegedly poaching in the island nation's waters.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being arrested by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

In 2023, the island nation's Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen along with 35 trawlers for poaching in Sri Lankan waters. PTI GRS AKJ GRS GRS