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24 more Indian fishermen arrested in Lankan waters

world Updated: Feb 17, 2011 01:27 IST

Four more boats with 24 Indian fishermen have been apprehended and handed over to the local police at Elavalai, in Jaffna on Wednesday. At least half a dozen Indian trawlers were also seized.

Sources said there could be more Indian trawlers off the coast of Jaffna, which has seen a sudden and unexplained rise in intrusion by Indian fishermen. It was learnt that it were Sri Lankan fishermen who spotted the incursion and escorted their Indian counterparts to the nearest police station.

India is still grappling with the judicial remand of 112 Indian fishermen who were arrested on Tuesday and send to judicial remand earlier on Wednesday.

The ruling DMK hit the streets on Wednesday demanding immediate release of the fishermen from Nagapattinam district, who were accosted by fishermen from Jaffna and handed over to the police under the watch of the Sri Lankan navy.

Nearly 2,000 DMK activists, including Rajya Sabha member and Karunanidhi's daughter Kanimozhi, courted arrest after being prevented from marching to the Sri Lankan deputy high commissioner's office in central Chennai.

In New Delhi, the issue was raised at Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's interaction with television editors. Singh said the Centre had initiated action to free the fishermen.

In Colombo, a flurry of diplomatic activity was seen after a Jaffna court sent the fishermen to 14-day judicial custody. Diplomatic sources said no development was likely on Thursday as it being public holiday.

The Indian high commission in Colombo would appeal to the court on Friday for the discharge of the fishermen from jail. For now, India's consul general in Jaffna, V Mahalingam, has been granted access to them.