The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 12 more Indian fishermen and seized two fishing trawlers for allegedly poaching in the country’s territorial waters, taking the number of Indians apprehended in the last two days to 55, an official statement said on Monday.
The arrests were made in seas South of Mannar in the Sri Lankan waters on Sunday.
It comes a day after the Navy arrested 43 Indian fishermen and seized six fishing trawlers in seas Southeast of the Delft Island in Jaffna.
“As part of the Navy’s effort to prevent poaching by Indian fishing trawlers in Sri Lankan territorial waters, the Navy managed to take hold of 8 Indian fishing trawlers and 55 Indian fishermen during operations conducted by the Northern and North Central Naval Commands on 18th and 19th December,” the Navy said in a statement.
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The operations were carried out adhering to COVID-19 protocols.
Arrangements are being made to hand them over to relevant authorities for legal action after Rapid Antigen Tests of the apprehended Indian fishermen, the statement said.
Fishermen from both countries are arrested frequently for inadvertently trespassing into each other’s waters. The fishermen’s issue has become a major irritant in bilateral ties.