Rameswaram: In yet another incident of attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen in the Palk Strait, a group of fishermen from here were beaten up and their boats damaged allegedly by Sri Lankan Navalmen near Katchatheevu, official sources said on Thursday.
Fishermen from Rameswaram region had put out to sea in 659 mechanised fishing boats yesterday. While they were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974, a group of 20 boats came under attack by Sri Lankan Navalmen late last night, they said.
The Sri Lankan Naval men boarded the fishing boats and allegedly beaten up the fishermen and damaged the boats and fishing nets, forcing all the boats to return to the shores.
The affected fishermen today lodged a complaint with state fisheries department officials here. They claimed that each boat suffered loss of Rs 30,000 due to the damage.
A tense situation prevailed in this town following the incident.
This is the third incident of attack on Tamil Nadu fishermen in Palk Strait this month. Around 15 fishermen were injured in an attack allegedly by Sri Lankan naval personnel
near the International Maritime Border Line on November 2, three others were injured in another incident a day later.
Incidents of attacks on Tamil Nadu fishermen had been a recurring problem. The local fishermen had been demanding restoration of traditional fishing rights near Katchatheevu
and protection to them.
The government had been cautioning them not to cross the country`s maritime boundary.
Meanwhile, officials said four persons from Pamban and Thangatchimadam here have been arrested by Sri Lankan Naval personnel for allegedly attempting to smuggle beedi bundles into the island.
They were taken into custody after their country boat was intercepted near Talaimannar in Sri Lankan territorial waters and 36 beedi bundles seized on November 3, they said quoting information received from Lankan authorities.
The four had been lodged Anuradhapuram Prison in the island nation, they said.