34 fishermen taken to Delft Island

The Sri Lankan Navy on Thursday arrested 34 more fishermen from Tamil Nadu and seized five of their mechanised boats for fishing in the Sri Lankan waters after crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).

They all hail from Thangachimadam and adjoining places in Rameswaram.

The arrest came less than 24 hours after the detention of 19 fishermen and seizure of four boats on Wednesday night.

Sources in the Fisheries Department said the Thursday arrest took place around 8.00 a.m. when the fishermen were set to return to the shore.

Delft Island

On Wednesday, about 2,500 fishermen set out in 652 mechanised boats, the sources said adding that all but nine boats returned on Thursday.

The Sri Lankan Navy has taken the arrested fishermen to Delft island off the Jaffna Peninsula with their boats and the catch, according to president of Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen (ARIF) U. Arulanandham.

He said the 19 fishermen arrested on Wednesday evening were produced before a court in Thalaimannar and remanded in judicial custody till March 28. They were lodged in Anuradhapura prison.