The Sri Lankan Navy arrested 19 Indian fishermen and confiscated their five trawlers near the Delft island off Jaffna early on Thursday.

The fishermen, it is learnt, are from Pudukottai, Tamil Nadu.

According to officials at the Consulate General’s office in Jaffna, the arrested fishermen were taken to the residence of the Kayts magistrate court’s judge for legal proceedings. They were taken to his residence as Thursday is Poya Day, the day of full moon, a public holiday in Sri Lanka.

The arrest comes at a time when the Sri Lankan government has been speaking of adopting stringent ways of tackling the issue of Indian fishermen allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters. Of late, the strategy has been to release the fishermen soon, but to retain the trawlers and detain its owners for longer.

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