Sri Lankan Navy chase away 1,700 TN fishermen, ‘snap’ fishing nets

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RAMESWARAM: More than 1,700 Tamil Nadu fishermen on Tuesday were allegedly chased away by the Sri Lankan Navy which also “snapped” fishing nets of 75 boats off Katchatheevu islet.

The fishermen belonging to this island town were fishing near Katchatheevu this morning when Lankan naval personnel came in four boats and threatened them, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja told reporters here.They also snapped the nets of 75 boats, he added.

Following the threat, all the fishermen returned to the shore, Sesuraja said.The mid-sea incident came after a spate of detentions of the fishermen this month on charges of poaching fish in Sri Lankan waters.A total of 53 fishermen have been arrested by the Lankan Navy this month.GPS navigation indicator is a must for all the fishing boats that sail through the sea border areas. Once they get to know the border points, they should stop proceeding further. In the last detention, eight fishermen, four from here and from Mandapam, were arrested on November 19 for allegedly fishing off Katchatheevu, an islet ceded by India to Sri Lanka in 1974.In the last three months, a total of 117 fishermen from the state have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.