The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 10 Indian fishermen and seized their trawlers for allegedly poaching in the country’s territorial waters, an official statement said on Tuesday.
The fishermen were arrested on Monday off the northeastern coast of Mullaithivu. A Navy fast attack craft had given chase to the Indian fishermen before they were arrested, the statement said.
They were brought to the eastern port of Trincomalee and handed over to the fisheries inspectorate of Trincomalee for further action, the Navy said.
In the recent years, there have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
Sri Lankan Navy personnel have even fired at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seized their boats.
The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.
The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with the Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan's territorial waters.