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53 fishermen arrested by Sri Lankan Navy

Fifty-three fishermen, including 30 from this coastal town, were arrested by the Sri Lankan naval personnel off Talaimannar and Jaffna early this morning, Fisheries Association officials said.

The first batch of 30 fishermen from here were arrested and their six boats seized off Talaimannar and later taken to Talaimannar district in Sri Lanka.

Another 23 fishermen from Poompuhar were arrested off Jaffna and taken to Kankensanthurai. Their trawler was also seized, T Sesuraja and S Emirit, president and secretary of the Association said.

On Tuesday last, six Indian fishermen were arrested off Talaimannar and remanded to custody till Sept 24.

Officials said a total of 68 fishermen and 72 boats are in the custody of the Sri lankan government.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had on September 9 sought the Centre’s intervention for releasing the fishermen.

In a letter to Modi, she said a new trend had emerged wherein fishing boats stranded mid-sea due to weather conditions or mechanical failure, besides those going for their rescue were being targeted.

These boats in distress and Indian fishermen on board were being apprehended and remanded to custody in Sri Lanka, she had said and added it was a totally inhumane approach and completely against the ethics of maritime search and rescue operations.

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