A Sri Lankan Navy vessel apprehended a mechanised fishing boat with 10 Indian fishermen on board, arrested them and impouned their craft for allegedly violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), an official said in Chennai on Tuesday.
The arrests occured post-midnight south of Delft Island, the official said, adding that according to reports received in Chennai, the fishermen were handed over to the assistant director of fisheries in Jaffna for further action.
The arrest came hours ahead of a meeting in New Delhi between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and a fishermen’s delegation from Tamil Nadu to discuss the decades-long fishing issue and to prevent frequent attacks by the Sri Lankan Navy.
The fishermen also want the Indian government to take urgent steps for the release of 138 Indian fishing vessels detained by Sri Lanka.
The meeting was organised after fishermen agitated across Tamil Nadu to condemn the killing of K Britjo (21), a fisherman from Thangatchimadam in Rameswaram, in alleged firing by the Sri Lankan Navy earlier this month.