The arrests were made on Wednesday night. The six were arrested on charges of crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
The arrested have been identified as Balamurugan (28), Anthony (31), Thanagapandi (24), Ajit (28), Krishnan (31), and Mudugu Pichai (51). An official with the Tamil Nadu coastal police told IANS that the arrested, according to the information received, were taken to the Thalaimannar Navy camp.
A group of boats had gone fishing from Rameswaram on Wednesday night and were found fishing near Thalaimannar and Nachikadavu. A patrol boat of the Sri Lankan Navy apprehended 11 fishermen from the group in two boats and arrested them. However, when the fishermen from one boat informed the Naval officers that their boat had inadvertently crossed the IMBL and reached the Sri Lankan waters due to an engine failure, five of the arrested were released.
Six fishermen are now in the custody of the Sri Lankan Navy and their mechanized boat also stands impounded by the Navy. With the arrest of the fishermen, Rameswaram and Dhanushkodi areas have turned tense.
R. Selvakumar, leader of the Fishermen Association of Rameswaram while speaking to IANS said, “The Government of India and Government of Tamil Nadu must take up the matter immediately and bring up a permanent solution to this issue. We are suffering a lot and people are now scared to go fishing at the sea due to the arrests and jail terms in a foreign nation. Our costly boats are also impounded and later sold in open tender. Governments must intervene immediately and solve the issue.”