Sri Lankan Navy apprehends nine Indian fishermen

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(Eds: Adds details) (rpting after adding figure in 6th para) Rameswaram (TN), Jan 10 (PTI) The Sri Lankan Navy has arrested nine Indian fishermen and seized one mechanised boat for allegedly fishing in that country's waters, besides damaging fishing nets in a separate incident, officials said here on Sunday.

The fishermen were arrested near Neduntheevu on Saturday, Fisheries department officials said, adding that one boat was also seized by the Lankan navy.

In a separate incident, the Lankan navy personnel allegedly damaged fishing nets in 20 mechanised boats near Katchatheevu on Saturday, the officials added.

They also allegedly hurled stones and bottles on the the Indian fishermen, they said.

Fishermen's association representative Sesuraja rued the acts of the Sri Lankan Navy, saying damage to equipment caused distress to the fishermen.

Meanwhile, the fishermen operating mechanised boats decided to strike work indefinitely from Monday, urging the Centre to expedite steps for the release of about 52 fishermen from Lankan custody at the earliest.

About 800 boats and 5,000 fishermen would keep off the sea, representatives said. PTI COR SA APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR