Indian fishermen warned not to cross IMBL into Sri Lanka waters

Nov 13, Pudukottai: In a measure to reduce the incidents of Indian fishermen crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) and intruding into Sri Lanka’s waters, the Indian Navy has initiated a special plan to create awareness among the fishermen.

Indian navy officials have held a meeting with fishermen’s representatives from the Pudukottai district in Tamil Nadu state to educate the fishermen to avoid the trespassing incidents, according to a report in the Indian daily The Hindu.

At the meeting held in Jegadapattinam on Friday, the Indian Navy officer-in-charge has shown the photographs taken by the Sri Lankan security personnel of fishermen of Pudukottai district who had intruded into the Sri Lankan waters.

Representatives of fishermen societies, welfare associations and officials from the Indian Department of Fisheries, Coastal Security Group personnel and Indian Navy have participated in the meeting.

The official has said that on an average, 50 fishermen were found ‘trespassing’ into the Sri Lankan territory.

He has warned the fishermen against the consequences of fishing beyond stipulated for Indian waters.

The fishermen’s representatives explaining the circumstances that led to the invasion have asked the authorities to provide GPS (global positioning system) equipment to the fishermen to avoid error in estimating the boundary in the sea.

The fishermen have assured the authorities that they were prepared to abide by the norms on international boundary.

Sri Lanka Navy has taken the photographs of Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan territory during the period of September 30 to October 31 this year and has given the photographs to the central government of India which has passed the evidence to the naval unit.

The Sri Lankan naval personnel have released the Indian fishermen after taking the photographs and related documents.

Tamil Nadu fishermen constantly allege that Sri Lankan naval personnel attack them when they were fishing in their waters near the maritime boundary line.

However, the Sri Lankan Navy denies any attacks by its personnel on Indian fishermen.

Sri Lankan fishermen accuse Indian fishermen of crossing into Sri Lankan waters and stealing their livelihood.

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