The Sri Lankan Navy allegedly attacked a group of Indian fishermen on Monday night for allegedly trespassing into the island nation’s territorial waters. The fishermen have denied trespassing the Sri Lankan waters. Stones were allegedly thrown at them and their nets were torn. One of the fishermen from Tamil Nadu’s Rameswaram has been injured in the attack. Authorities said no formal complaint has been filed and that they are investigating the incident.
Tamil Nadu has earlier raised the issue of harassment of fishermen by the Lankan authorities with the central government and has urged New Delhi to take appropriate actions to put an end to the harassment of the fishermen who may cross into territorial waters in the Indian ocean.
Indian and Lankan fishermen have been fishing crossing boundaries historically but Sri Lanka began stopping the entry of Indian fishermen since the international boundary line was fixed, particularly after the defeat of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam).
Earlier, India’s gifting of the Katchatheevu island to Sri Lanka too reduced the fishing space for Indian fishermen. 600 Indian fishermen killed by Lankan navy for trespass till date after which former Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had proposed a lease agreement with Sri Lanka so that fishermen from Indian state of Tamil Nadu could legally fish in Lankan waters as there is too little catch in Indian waters. Both the central and the state government have not developed a sustainable alternative source of livelihood for the two lakh people dependent on fishing.