Fishermen stay away from sea in Rameswaram

Published - June 24, 2024 07:09 pm IST - RAMESWARAM

Over 3,000 fishermen on Monday stayed away from the sea, anchoring around 900 mechanised boats, in protest against the recent arrest of 22 Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka Navy on charges of poaching.

The fishermen, who were arrested on Saturday, were produced before a court in Sri Lanka, which remanded them to judicial custody till July 5, officials of the fisheries department said here.

Fishermen associations have urged the Centre to hold talks with its counterparts in Sri Lanka and get the arrested fishermen back home safely along with their impounded boats. “Sri Lanka is seen as a friendly neighbour. We have been helping them in their crises. But, when it comes to issues faced by fishermen from Tamil Nadu, the two nations [India and Sri Lanka] give the impression that they are not on the same line,” said P Jesu Raja, a fishermen leader.

The frequent arrests and impounding of the boats have caused huge damage on the livelihood of the fishermen. Many families have lost all their earnings due to payment of interest. Such arrests only compounds the issue and the fishermen have no other alternative.

The fishermen families and children are apprehensive about their kith and kin venturing into the seas. The governments alone can bring about a permanent solution and instil confidence among the fisherfolks to go for fishing activities without any fear, Mr Jesu Raja added.

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