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Colombo: Six Indian fishermen have been arrested for allegedly poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, the country’s Navy said on Tuesday, the second such incident involving Indians this month.

According to a statement, the Navy conducted a special operation to chase away Indian trackers poaching in northern waters of the island on July 11.

The Indian fishermen were allegedly poaching off the Kovilan light house in the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) when they were arrested, the statement said. Their trawler was also seized by the authorities, it added.

The six fishermen were brought to the Kankesanthurai port and handed over to the fisheries inspectorate in Jaffna.

On July 3, at least 12 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country’s territorial waters.

The fishermen were arrested near Point Pedro, Sri Lankan Navy spokesman Captain Indika de Silva told PTI, adding that they were being brought to Myladi in the northern Jaffna peninsula to be handed over to the fisheries directorate.

In the recent weeks, the northern fishermen have been complaining of increased poaching in the Sri Lankan waters by Indian fishermen.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in ties between the two countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the IMBL and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.

There have been several alleged incidents of the Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.

The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

Also read: President Rajapaksa has not left Sri Lanka: Speaker retracts earlier statement


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