New Delhi, Mar 25: More than 2000 Tamil Nadu fishermen were chased away by the Sri Lankan navy for entering in their territorial waters on Sunday. The Sri Lankan navy snapped the fishing nets of 30 boats.
Rameswaram Fishermen Association President S Emerit said that the fishermen had ventured into the sea in 565 boats on Saturday and were fishing off Katchatheevu when the Sri Lankan naval personnel came to the spot and chased them away. He demanded center to take action and take steps in this regard.
Detention of Indian fishermen by Lankan authorities is frequent, as they often cross the International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing in its waters. On March 3, over 2,500 fishermen from Rameswaram were allegedly chased away by the Lankan Navy while they were fishing near Katchatheevu.
Sri Lanka has long fumed over poaching and illegal fishing by Indian fishermen that it says deplete the catches of its own fishermen.
Katchatheevu is an uninhabited islet in the Palk Strait that was formed due to a volcanic eruption in the 14th century. The 285-acre land, strategically important for fishing activities, was owned by the Raja of Ramnad (Ramanathapuram) and later became part of the Madras Presidency after the delimitation of Gulf of Mannar and Palk Strait during British rule between the then governments of Madras and Ceylon. In 1921, both Sri Lanka and India claimed this piece of land for fishing and the dispute remained unsettled.