TUTICORIN: Twelve Sri Lankan fishermen who veered into Indian territorial waters were arrested in mid-sea by an Indian Coast Guard patrol vessel and brought to Tuticorin.
ICGS Veera while on patrol on Sunday spotted the fishermen in two boats fishing some 60 nautical miles northeast off Tuticorin.
The vessel’s Commandant Udhal Singh said the crew of 12 manning the two fishing boats ‘Nathali’ and ‘Ashen Putha’ were illegally fishing in Indian waters.
“Illegal fishing affects the prospects of Indian fishermen and with illegal fishing being on the rise the Coast Guard has intensified patrolling,” Commandant Singh said.
The fishermen hail from the fishing village of Anbathanvila near Kalpitiya and had set out to sea on August 22.
They claimed they had entered Indian waters because of tangled nets, but sources said they had clearly come with the intention of netting a good catch. The Thermalnagar police are investigating. -