Rameswaram: The body of a 55-year-old Rameswaram fisherman was recovered by the Sri Lanka Navy during a dedicated rescue mission to locate a group of distressed Indian fishermen near the Delft Island on Sunday, an official statement from the Sri Lankan Navy confirmed.
The deceased has been identified as Karuppaiah Munnasami from Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu.
Munnasami was one of the nine fishermen reportedly apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy near the shore of the Delft Island on Sunday morning. After providing prompt first aid to these fishermen, they were first interrogated at Karainagar Naval camp and later handed over to Kankesanthurai Police.
As of now, the Sri Lankan Navy is in the process of handing over the body to the Jaffna Police for further probe.
“The Navy spotted over 500 Indian trawlers poaching in Sri Lankan territorial waters, close to the Delft Island on Saturday and seized two trawlers and arrested nine Indian fishers who trespassed on Sri Lankan territorial waters.
Other 11 fishermen and their trawler were arrested in the sea area of Thalaimannar,” according to the Sri Lankan Navy.
It further stated that the rest of the fishing vessels had escaped back to the Indian waters.
Straying of Indian and Sri Lankan fishermen into each other’s waters is a recurrent problem as territories on the sea are not clearly demarcated.
Last year in October, at least five Indian fishermen belonging to Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy from Neduntheevu in northern Sri Lanka, following which Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to secure the release of fishermen lodged in Sri Lankan prisons.