The Sri Lankan Navy on Tuesday arrested 86 Indians on 11 fishing boats attempting to enter its waters illegally. The Navy said on Monday that surveillance has been stepped up in view of the spread of the corona virus epidemic in the country and has increased patrols along the northern and western maritime border to prevent illegal migrants from other countries, including India.
21 Indians were arrested by Sri Lanka earlier also
The army arrested 21 Indian nationals on four Indian boats for allegedly entering the country last fortnight. The Navy said in a statement that the Navy caught 11 Indian boats carrying 86 people on special patrol in the maritime area near the Palk Strait. They were suspiciously attempting to enter the Sri Lankan waters.
How do fishermen cross the Indian waters?
The Sri Lankan navy often arrests Indian fishermen as there is no clear demarcation of the maritime boundary between the two countries in the Palk Strait and fishermen do not have boats equipped with technology to know their exact location. Due to sluggish bureaucracy and lengthy legal processes, fishermen typically stay in jails for several months and sometimes even years.
Pakistan also caught 17 Indian fishermen
On the last day of February this year, Pakistan also arrested 17 Indian fishermen, accusing them of illegally entering the watershed. The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency had said that Indian fishermen had been warned that they were in Pakistan’s waters and should go away but did not listen to the warning. Pakistan claimed that the fishermen were within 10-15 nautical miles of its waters.