19 fishermen from Rameswaram arrested by Sri Lankan Navy for IMBL violation

RAMANATHAPURAM: The Sri Lankan Navy has apprehended two boats carrying 19 Indian fishermen hailing from Rameswaram in Ramanathapuram for alleged violation of the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). The apprehended fishermen and their boats have been taken to Kankesanthurai fishing harbour for further legal proceedings.On Wednesday, about 482 mechanised boats from the Rameswaram fishing harbour ventured into the sea. While the boats were fishing near the IMBL, the Sri Lankan Navy chased off a cluster of Indian boats. Reportedly, two of the boats remained in the Sri Lankans water violating the IMBL, hence, they were taken into custody by the Sri Lankan Navy.Fisheries department officials said that the first boat contained 12 crew including Johnson (38), Mettan (36), Antony (25), S Muniyasamy (36), K Muniyasamy (48), Sekar (45), Jesuraja (38), Cloverson (26), Prasanth (32), Selva Thomas (48), and Selvaraj (46). The second boat consisted of seven members who were identified as Antony Sasikumar (43), Oswald (36), Franklin (36), S Muniyasamy (32), Arokiyam (50), Sini Malik (33), and Thaneeswar Malik (49). All 19 fishermen hailed from Thangachimadam and Rameswaram areas.A Sri Lankan Navy source said that the Northern Naval Command deployed the Fast Attack Craft of the Navy and the Coast Guard to chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers after having observed that they were engaged in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters close to the Delft Island in the wee hours of February 7. The operation resulted in the seizure of two Indian poaching trawlers and the arrest of 19 Indian fishermen.

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