Police In Tamil Nadu Have Issued Warning To Anglers Crossing The IMBL

Coastal Security Group officials of the Tamil Nadu police sensitising fishermen in Nagapattinam to the risks of crossing International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing.
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Coastal Security Group officials of the Tamil Nadu police sensitising fishermen in Nagapattinam to the risks of crossing International Maritime Boundary Line for fishing. (Photo/thehindu)

Highlights

  • The Tamil Nadu police have issued a warning about the risk of an attack on fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan waters beyond the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
  • Katchatheevu, an uninhibited off-shore island in the Palk Strait, is administered by Sri Lanka.

According to police sources, mechanised boat fishermen in Rameswaram staged a week-long protest, asking that the Indian and Sri Lankan governments allow them to fish in the Katchatheevu sea area. They also demanded that the vessels seized by the Sri Lankan Navy be compensated appropriately.

The Tamil Nadu police have issued a warning about the risk of an attack on fishermen fishing in Sri Lankan waters beyond the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL). In the wake of simmering conflicts between Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen over collecting fish in the Katchatheevu area, law enforcement agencies along the coastal districts have been directed to educate the fishing community about the dangers.
Katchatheevu, an uninhibited off-shore island in the Palk Strait, is administered by Sri Lanka. Though the island was jointly managed by India and Sri Lanka allowing the fishermen of both countries to dry their nets there, it was ceded to Sri Lanka in 1974. Since then, Katchatheevu has remained an issue with some political parties in Tamil Nadu demanding that the island be returned to benefit the fishermen of India.
With the mechanised boat fishermen set to enter the sea for fishing from early October 16, security agencies perceived the need to mount a vigil at sea. The Coastal Security Group of the Tamil Nadu police issued an alert stating that the possibility of an attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen by Sri Lankan fishermen could not be ruled out.
In a letter, AIADMK coordinator and former Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam drew the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the arrest of the fishermen at Point Pedro where they had gone from Nagapattinam for fishing. The Sri Lankan Navy seized their boats, took the fishermen into custody and took them to Karainagar Naval Base.
Expressing concern over the frequent incidents of arrest of Tamil Nadu fishermen, Mr. Panneerselvam said fishermen were venturing into the sea with a constant fear of attack by the Sri Lankan Navy which was causing a lot of tension and unrest among the community along the coastal districts.

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