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As many as 23 fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam have been arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for reportedly crossing the maritime border.

The fishermen from Tamil Nadu were held on Oct 11

The fishermen from Tamil Nadu were held on Oct 11 | (Representative) PTI

The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested as many as 23 Indian fishermen who had ventured into the Indian Ocean on October 11 in two mechanized boats. Reports have confirmed that the arrested fishermen are residents of Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam.

They were surrounded by the Sri Lankan Navy and told that they had crossed the International Maritime Borderline. Following their arrests, the fishermen were taken to the Kankesanthurai Naval Camp in Sri Lanka.

Locals from Akkaraipatti village in Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam said the fishermen were already reeling under heavy losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ: Tamil Nadu fisherman injured in firing by Sri Lankan Navy personnel

“Only now, after the pandemic, we have slowly started to regain our livelihood. Now, 23 fishermen have been arrested and two boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy,” said Arulanandham, head of the Nagapattinam fishermen’s union.

He added, “We urge central and state governments to help us. Our fishermen are constantly being harassed and our nets are being destroyed. We need help.”

In August of this year, a group of fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Mandapam port had accused the Sri Lankan Navy of attacking their boat with stones.

The alleged incident took place near Kachchatheevu, an uninhabited island located between Sri Lanka’s Neduntheevu and India’s Rameswaram in the Palk Strait between the two countries.

One fisherman later identified as Jayapaul from Rameswaram even suffered injuries as a result.

“One of the stones hit me. I had to cut the net and we escaped. I fell unconscious. Once I reached the shore, I was taken to a hospital where they treated me and stitched my wound,” Jayapaul had told the media.

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