Fishermen from Tamil Nadu state of India are increasingly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and invading the Sri Lankan waters for poaching despite Sri Lanka Navy's continued operations arresting the fishermen for illegal bottom trawling in island's territorial waters.
Chief Minister K Palaniswami termed the arrest of the eight fishermen from Nagapattinam as an "abduction" and took up the matter with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Eight Tamil Nadu fishermen were arrested early on Saturday by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in territorial waters of the island nation, police said.
The people of the state "strongly believe" that the fishermen have a genuine claim to the Palk Bay fishing grounds from where they "are being apprehended", he added. He said this "is causing great loss of livelihood to the fishermen and their families."The chief minister sought an "immediate intervention at the highest level" to resolve this long-standing issue".
"Long periods of impoundments of fishing boats would render them unworthy of sailing and it would push the life and livelihood propositions of Indian fishermen into misery", Palaniswamy said in the letter. "The Sri Lankan policy of abduction of boats in this transition period without respite only indicates its increasing intolerant attitude and the scant respect for the Indian diplomatic efforts", Palaniswami wrote".
The Sri Lankan government has warned that Indian fishermen trespassing into Sri Lankan waters to fish illegally will continue to be arrested and their boats will be taken into custody.