Rameswaram: Sri Lankan Naval personnel allegedly attacked some fishing boats and arrested 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen when they were fishing near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits on Saturday, fisheries department officials said.

The Lankan Navy also seized five boats, officials said.

The fishermen would be produced before the Mannar Judicial Magistrate court, they said.

Rameswaram Fishermen's Association President Emirett said the Lankan navy officers attacked 20 other fishing boats and seized the fishing nets.

Katchatheevu, an islet, was ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974.

On July 1, ten fishermen from this coastal town were taken into custody by the Lankan Navy for reportedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in their waters but were subsequently ordered to be released by a Mannar court.

Following their arrest, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had shot off a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, expressing concern over "unrelenting, harsh attitude of the Sri Lankan Navy" towards Indian fishermen. She had also sought the Centre's intervention in securing the release of those arrested by the island Republic's Navy.


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