Lankan Navy arrests 54 Indian fishermen Eds: Adding updates

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Rameswaram (TN), Mar 25 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested 54 Indian fishermen and detained five of their boats for allegedly fishing in that country's waters, officials here said on Thursday.

The fishermen, hailing from Rameswaram and Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal, an enclave of neighbouring Puducherry, were picked up from near Neduntheevu on Wednesday night by the Lankan navy, officials from Fisheries and police departments said.

They have been taken to different locaations in Sri Lanka for further probe and are likely to be handed over to authorities to be isolated along with the detained boats, officials added.

Ramanathapuram Lok Sabha MP K Nawas Kani took up the matter with the Centre.

Fishermen association representatives expressed concern over such repeated instances of Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu being arrested by the Lankan navy and urged the Centre and state government to ensure their early release.

They threatened to shun fishing operations indefinitely if the fishermen were not released at the earliest and also warned of boycotting the April 6 Assembly elections in Tamil Nadu. PTI COR SA BN BN