86 TN fishermen detained by Lankan Navy, released after 10 hours

The fishermen, from Pamban, returned home safely early on Wednesday

The Sri Lankan Navy personnel let off 86 fishermen, from Tamil Nadu, who were detained for about 10 hours, on charges of crossing the Indian waters while fishing in the Palk Straits, and they returned home in the early hours of Wednesday.

According to reports reaching here, 86 fishermen from Pamban and other hamlets had ventured into the sea on the evening of May 3 (Monday) in 11 boats. The SL Navy personnel, who were on surveillance, secured the fishermen and took them to a camp, where they were detained for 10 hours. After recording their names, the boats in which they were fishing and other details, the police and fisheries department officials in Sri Lanka warned the Indian fishermen and let them off.

Around Monday night, they were all handed over to the Indian authorities following which they returned home on Tuesday evening to Indian waters..

The Coast Guard officials said that due to the heightened COVID-19 pandemic, the fishermen were let off with a warning by the Sri Lankan authorities. The officers appealed to the fishermen to be guarded while fishing and not to violate the Maritime Boundaries.

Meanwhile, a fishermen association leader Rayappan said that the fishermen had been fishing on Monday evening. He claimed that the fishermen were well within the Indian waters only. However, he thanked the Indian authorities for the safe return of all the fishermen.

A senior official in the Fisheries Department here said that 300 fishermen had ventured into the sea on Monday evening. “We have been repeatedly educating the fishermen not to cross the IMBL. Moreover, with the COVID-1919 pandemic, the SL Navy personnel too had intensified surveillance…” he added.

After detention for about 10 hours in a camp, the fishermen safely returned on Tuesday night, Mr. Rayappan added.

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