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Tamil Nadu fishermen ‘attacked’ by SL navy

A fisherman casts a net in the waters of a fish farm during a sudden downpour along a sea shore on the outskirts of Kochi, India, September 16, 2015. REUTERS/Sivaram V

Rameswaram: More than 2000 fishermen were today forced to return from sea without a catch after they were allegedly attacked by Sri Lankan Naval who pelted stones and iron balls at them near Katchatheevu islet.

Though nobody was injured in the attack, several boats suffered damages, President of the Fishermen’s Association, Sesuraja said.

Fishing nets of the fishermen, who ventured into the sea in more than 500 boats, were also damaged. The Sri Lankan Navy also warned them against fishing near Katchatheevu, following which all of them returned to the shores this morning, he said.

Sesuraja urged the Centre to take steps to retrieve Katchatheevu island, ceded to Sri Lanka, so that fishermen could fish in their traditional areas.

On August 8, the Tamil Nadu government had informed the state Assembly that retrieval of Katchatheevu, ceded to Sri Lanka in the 1970s, and restoration of the traditional fishing rights of the fishermen in the Palk Bay area were its topmost agenda.