Representative Image | Photo: ANI
Colombo: The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 12 Indian fishermen and seized two fishing trawlers for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters, an official statement said on Sunday, the third such incident involving Indians in the island nation this month.
The arrests were made in seas north of Talaimannar. They were indulging in bottom trawling, the Navy said.
“In an operation conducted in seas north of Talaimannar in the dark hours of February 12, Sri Lanka Navy managed to seize 2 Indian trawlers with 12 Indian fishermen while poaching in Sri Lankan waters,” it said.
This was the third arrest of the Indian fishermen in the Sri Lankan waters during this month.
On February 8, the Navy arrested 11 Indian fishermen and seized three fishing trawlers and on February 1, twenty-one Indian fishermen were arrested.
The fishermen issue is a contentious one in ties between the two countries.
The issue also figured in the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris last week during the latter's three-day official visit to India.
The arrests of Indian fishermen come as the local immigration officials are making arrangements to repatriate 56 Indian fishermen who were arrested in December.
The arrests of Indians and the local fishermen's agitations seeking government action to stop Indian fishing boats have expanded over the last fortnight.