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Rameswaram fishermen attacked by Lankan Navy

December 16, 2012 14:51 IST

Sri Lankan naval personnel on Sunday allegedly attacked some fishermen from Rameswaram and prevented them from fishing near the International Maritime Boundary line, officials said.

The Lankan personnel asked them to stop fishing and go back at gun point, officials said. They also snatched the fishermen's GPS equipment and fishing nets.

Nearly 650 boats had put to sea on Sunday and many returned without fishing, officials said.

The Sri Lankan Navy had detained 40 Indian fishermen on December 3 off Nagapattinam and Karaikal coasts, prompting Chief Minister Jayalalithaa to write to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to seek his intervention in the matter. They were subsequently released.

Jayalalithaa had said such harassment had become a regular occurrence. She had warned that the Lankan Navy's action would only escalate the tensions between the two countries and cause unrest and anxiety among the fishermen community.

On December 4, the Sri Lankan Navy allegedly damaged some nets of fishermen fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits, while eight Tamil Nadu fishermen were injured five days later when they were attacked near Talaimannar.

In yet another attack, 272 fishermen from Rameswaram in 68 boats were intercepted near Katchatheevu and their fishing nets were cut.

Meanwhile, a fishing boat from Mandapam got stranded with four fishermen at Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, police said on Sunday.

Police said the coast guard's help has been sought to rescue them.

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