Colombo [Sri Lanka], March 12 (ANI): The Sri Lankan Navy on Sunday said that it carried out a special operation to chase away Indian trawlers from Sri Lankan waters. In a statement, Sri Lankan Navy said that the operation led to the seizure of 2 Indian trawlers along with 16 Indian nationals northeast of Veththalakeni and off the Analativu Island.

The Sri Lankan Navy said that it continue to carry out regular patrols and operations in Lankan waters to curb illegal fishing practices of fishing trawlers.

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"As an extension of these operations, the Northern Naval Command deployed Fast Attack Craft of the 04th Fast Attack Flotilla to chase away a cluster of Indian poaching trawlers, having spotted they were engaging in illegal fishing in Sri Lankan waters northeast of Veththalakeni and off the Analativu Island," Sri Lankan Navy said in statement.

"In this operation, the Navy held 02 Indian poaching trawlers with 16 Indian fishers continuing to remain in Sri Lankan waters," it further said.

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According to the Sri Lankan Navy statement, 16 Indian fishermen and two trawlers have been taken to the Kankesanthurai Harbour and they will be handed over to the Mailadi Fisheries Inspector for onward legal proceedings.

In the statement, the Sri Lankan Navy said that in 2022, they have seized 36 Indian trawlers in island waters and handed them over to authorities for legal action.

Tamil Nadu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) President K Annamalai has written letter to External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar requesting the ministry's intervention for the repatriation of 16 fishermen who have been arrested by the Sri Lankan navy.

In the letter, K Annamalai called for intervention of External Affairs Ministry for the early repatriation of the detainees. He noted that two fishing boats belonging to the fishermen have also been seized.

In the letter, Annamalai stated, "We bring to your attention yesterday's arrest of 16 Fishermen from Pudhukottai and Nagapattinam by the Sri Lankan navy. Two fishing boats belonging to them have also been seized during the arrest. We request the kind intervention of our External affairs ministry for the early repatriation of the detainees."

Annamalai also expressed gratitude to EAM S Jaishankar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the constructive steps to bolster the ties between India and Sri Lanka, which he stressed has resulted in improved security of fishermen in the High seas. (ANI)

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