Twenty Tamil Nadu fishermen were today taken into custody along with their five boats by Sri Lankan naval personnel for allegedly trespassing into Lankan waters, a report reaching fisheries department here said.
The arrest comes a day after Chief Minister Jayalalithaa urged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to summon the Sri Lankan High Commissioner and convey India’s strong protest on the arrest of Indian fishermen by the Lankan Navy.
Assistant Director of Fisheries Phelomin Thiagarajan said they did not give permission for one of the boats as it was using banned fishing nets and it had put to sea without proper licence. It could have been seized due to that, the official said.
However, other fishermen and boats had proper licence, he said. In her letter to Singh, Jayalalithaa said, "I am pained to note that such incidents of unlawful abduction and arrest of fishermen from Tamil Nadu by the Sri Lankan Navy go on unabated and are occurring with alarming frequency."