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Nineteen Indian Fishermen Repatriated by Sri Lanka Navy, Following Previous Release

The Indian High Commission has confirmed the repatriation of nineteen Indian fishermen by the Sri Lanka Navy, marking the return of another group within a week’s span. The repatriated fishermen are en route to Chennai from Sri Lanka, according to a statement from the Indian High Commission.

This move follows the detention of a total of 23 Indian trawlers and 178 Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Navy in 2024. These individuals were allegedly found fishing in Sri Lanka’s waters, as confirmed by the Sri Lankan Navy in a statement issued late last month.

The longstanding issue of fishermen straying into each other’s territorial waters has been a source of contention between India and Sri Lanka. Incidents have included the Sri Lankan Navy firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.

The recent release of the nineteen fishermen comes amid renewed attention on the Katchatheevu island matter. The ruling BJP has raised concerns, blaming the Congress Party for ceding the island to Sri Lanka in 1974.

The Palk Strait, situated between Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka, is a vital fishing area for both nations. However, inadvertent trespassing frequently leads to the arrest of fishermen from both sides.

In 2023 alone, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested 240 Indian fishermen and seized 35 trawlers for allegedly engaging in poaching activities within Sri Lankan waters.

Source: News18

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