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Sri Lankan Navy arrest 21 Indian fishermen off Delft island

The Sri Lankan Navy  have arrested 21 Tamil Nadu fishermen and seized two trawlers off Delft island while conducting a "special operation" this week.

The navy said it "deployed Fast Attack Craft to chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers" for "illegal fishing". 

The seized trawlers together with 21 fishermen were brought to the Kankesanthurai Harbour and were handed over to the Mailady Fisheries Inspector for legal proceedings. It was determined in courts that they would be detained until the 27th of this month.

A day before this arrest, in a different operation, the Sri Lanka Navy seized one  Indian trawler and apprehended 15 Indian fishermen poaching off the Kovilan Lighthouse in Karainagar. With this recent apprehension, the Sri Lanka Navy said it seized a total of 16 Indian poaching trawlers and 125 Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters in 2024, and subsequently handed them over to authorities for legal proceedings. During this incident, one fishermen was  admitted to Jaffna Teaching Hospital for treatment, he had said that the Sri Lanka Navy had assaulted him.

Tamil Nadu fishermen have reported instances of abuse, torture, and extrajudicial killings by Sri Lanka's Navy for years. 

Fishermen in Rameshwaran have decided to stage a demonstration on March 26th to denounce the arrests and boat seizures by Sri Lanka's navy and to protest India's failure to provide a permanent solution to the mairitime tensions between Indian fishermen and the Sri Lankan navy. 


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