India-Sri Lanka coastal belt turning into a smuggling ground?

The region between northern Sri Lanka and Rameshwaram has been a subject of intense activities with regular arrests made by both the sides. With Indian fishermen not venturing into the sea for 60 days, the regular fishermen arrests have come down, but today the Indian Custom's official have caught 5kg of gold which was smuggled from Sri Lanka to India.

The Customs officials said that an investigation is underway and they will soon be getting hold of a racket that has been smuggling goods into the two countries. Apart from this, a suspect was apprehended with over 1 kg of heroin by a group of Naval personnel attached to the Sri Lanka Coast Guard in coordination with Kotawila Police. The apprehended suspect and heroin were handed over to the Kotawila Police for further investigations.

With the Indian Coast Guards hovercraft getting damaged, it is seen that there is an alleged difficulty in the patrolling and this has further increased the presence of smugglers in the region.

The fishing ban period already kicking in is seen that the regular arrests of fishermen that usually take place has come down. The arrest of five fishermen a few days back though has caused a lot of protest across the fishing community in the state. Apart from the arrests of Indian fishermen, close to 140 boats have been kept under the Sri Lankan custody and getting them back has been a regular demand of the Indian fishermen.

With Prime Minister Narendra Modi visiting Sri Lanka on 11th of May it has been announced that there will be release of the boats as a goodwill gesture.

While this has brought in some relief for the fishermen, the region becoming a smuggling ground is causing a lot of fear and unhappiness.

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DRI seizes 16 kgs of gold smuggled from Sri Lanka