Indian mission provides legal assistance to fishermen detained in Lanka

Twenty-seven Indian fishermen, arrested for allegedly poaching in Sri Lanka’s territorial waters, were provided material and legal assistance, the Indian mission in Jaffna said on Monday.

Last week, the Sri Lankan Navy held two Indian trawlers with 15 Indian fishermen aboard while three Indian trawlers with 12 fishermen aboard were apprehended near the Delft and Kachchativu Islands, local officials here said.
“Consular officials of @CGJaffna provided material & legal assistance to Fifteen Indian fishermen detained today in Jaffna District. Consular officials sought the welfare of fishermen & facilitated phone calls to their family in India,” the Consulate General of India in Jaffna said in a post on X on Monday.
On Sunday, the Consular officials provided material and legal assistance to 12 fishermen detained in Jaffna district, the Indian mission said.

In a separate post, the mission said that the Consular officials sought the welfare of fishermen and facilitated phone calls to their families in India.

On Monday, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin asked the central government to take immediate steps to get the Indian fishermen freed and secure the release of fishing vessels.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka, with the Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats in several alleged incidents of illegally entering Sri Lankan’s territorial waters.

The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.