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Sri Lanka arrests 65 Indian fishermen


15:13, July 31, 2013

COLOMBO, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan navy on Wednesday arrested 65 Indian fishermen who allegedly entered Sri Lankan waters illegally to catch fish.

A navy spokesman said that 34 Indians were arrested off Point Pedro in the north of the country and the other 31 fishermen were arrested off Trincomalee in the east.

The navy said that it also seized nine boats used by the fishermen to cross the International Boundary Line (IMBL) that divides the two countries.

The Indians were taken to Point Pedro and Trincomalee and handed over to the police for further investigations.

The arrest came just as Sri Lankan and Indian fishermen were preparing to hold talks on issues that crop up when fishermen cross the IMBL.

Indian fishermen have been invited to visit Sri Lanka by the government to hold talks with their Sri Lankan counterparts. Sri Lankan Minister Basil Rajapaksa had met representatives of India fishermen when he visited New Delhi recently.

On Tuesday, a group of Indian fishermen claimed they were injured in a mid-sea attack by their counterparts in Sri Lanka.

Indian media reports claimed that the Sri Lankan fishermen arrived in several boats and attacked the Indian fishermen.

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