Ten Tamil Nadu fishermen have been arrested and their two boats impounded by Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in the island nation waters, officials said on Thursday. The fishermen from Jegathapattinam in Pudukottai district were fishing in Neduntheevu last night when the Lankan Navy arrested them and took to Kankesanthurai in northern Sri Lanka, Pudukottai Assistant Director of Fisheries Sekar said.
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The arrest comes three days after Sri Lanka agreed to set free 51 Indian fishermen already in its custody.
In another incident, more than 3,500 fishermen, who had put out to sea from here in 584 boats yesterday, returned to the shores without catch last night after the Lankan Naval personnel allegedly snapped the fishing nets of about 30 vessels and drove them away while they were fishing near Katchatheevu, Rameswaram Fishermen association leader S Emerit said.
With the latest arrest, the number of Tamil Nadu fishermen in Sri Lankan custody has risen to 61.
Only on January two, Sri Lanka agreed to release 51 fishermen in its custody and consider returning a large number of fishing boats in its custody. This was decided during a high-level ministerial level meeting of Sri Lanka and India held in Colombo on the vexed issue of fishermen.
Indian and Lanka Coast Guard had yesterday discussed various measures for the release and repatriation of arrested fishermen among other areas of cooperation in the maritime security scenario.
A three-member delegation led by Director General Sri Lanka Coast Guard (SLCG) Rear Admiral Samantha Wimalathunge, is on a three-day visit to India from January three for talks with the Indian Coast Guard.
The Indian delegation was led by coast Guard chief Rajendra Singh.