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Nineteen Tamil fishermen arrested by Lankan navy

September 19, 2013 12:08 IST

Nineteen fishermen, who ventured into the sea from Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu, were on Thursday arrested by the Sri Lankan navy when they went for fishing in the Palk Strait, officials said.

It was not immediately known whether they were fishing in Indian or Lankan waters, Joint Director of Fisheries Phelomin Thiagarajan told PTI over phone from Pudukottai district.

The fishermen from Jejadhapattinam in the district had ventured into the sea in five boats.

They were taken along with their boats to Karainagar Army camp and had been lodged there, Arulanandham, President of the ‘Innocent Fishermen's Association’ said.

The arrest comes a day after a Ramanathapuram court remanded for 15 days five Sri Lankan fishermen, arrested by the coast guard with their boat last week on charges of fishing in Indian territory.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had slammed the Centre for remaining a "mute spectator" on the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan navy.

In a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last month, she had said there was no concerted action on securing their release and sought his immediate intervention through diplomatic channels to secure the release of all fishermen from Tamil Nadu who are in Sri Lankan custody.

Her letter came in the wake of the arrest of 35 fishermen by the Lankan navy.

Local mechanised boat fishermen had gone on protest voicing concern over continued incarceration of their colleagues in Lankan jails and demanded immediate steps by the Centre to set them free.

Image: Reuters

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