TN fishermen protest against Sri Lankan navy chasing fishers, destroying nets

by IANS |

Chennai, Sep 21 (IANS) Fishermen in Tamil Nadu's Rameswaram area were protesting against the Sri Lankan Navy chasing away fishers and destroying the fishing nets.

The protests started on Tuesday.

Recently, eight Indian fishermen from Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.

The fishermen association leaders told IANS that the protest was against the destruction of fishing nets and boats and the Sri Lankan Navy creating hurdles for the Indian fishermen from fishing in the sea.

Jesuraj, President of All Mechanised Fishing Boats Association while speaking to IANS said, "The fishermen from Rameswaram had commenced fishing on Monday night after a week of protest against the arrest of Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy. However, on Tuesday early morning when they were fishing near the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL), the fishermen were chased away by the Lankan Navy officers. This led to the destruction of fishing nets and damage to boats."

He said that each fishing boat had lost around Rs 1 lakh in damages and 25 fishing boats returned to the shores empty-handed.

R. Christopher, a fisherman from Rameswaram while speaking to IANS said, "Our life is going through a difficult phase. The Sri Lankans are turning more and more aggressive by the day. If the Government of India and the Government of Tamil Nadu do not take any immediate action, our lives will become miserable and we don't know how to go ahead."

Eight Indian fishermen from Pudukottai, who were arrested on Tuesday by the Sri Lankan navy for crossing the IMBL, are in custody and their mechanized boats are also under siege.

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