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12 Rameswaram fishermen held, two boats seized by Sri Lankan Navy

The Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday arrested 12 Rameswaram fishermen and seized two of their mechanised boats on the charge of poaching.

According to information available with the fishermen here, over 400 mechanised boats had put out to sea with over 1,200 fishermen on Friday. When 12 of them were fishing near the Dhanushkodi-Thalaimannar region, the Sri Lankan Navy secured them and took them to a camp in Jaffna. They were jailed after being produced in a local court. 

The names of the arrested fishermen were given as Xavier, 43, Raja, 44, Arockiadas, 44, James, 45, Ranjith, 43, Raman, 41, Muneeswaran, 30, Sekar, 35, Mukta, 25, Jeromiyas, 46, Padalam, 59, and Napoleon, 46.

The news came in when members of the fishermen associations in Ramanathapuram abstained from fishing since February 9 to demand the release of 11 fishermen from Akkarapettai in Nagapattinam district, arrested on February 8, and 21 Karaikal fishermen, held last month. They tried to block trains at Thangachimadam on February 11. But the police stopped them. They instead staged a dharna near the railway station.

Fishermen leader Jesu Raja said the community was continuously targeted by the Sri Lankan Navy. “We have no other option but to rely on the governments.”

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