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18th Apr 13Managed by Chatham House
Financed by DEFRA
2 Coast Guard men rescued from Sri Lankan fishermen
Chennai - The Indian Navy Friday afternoon rescued two Indian Coast Guard personnel held captive by two Sri Lankan fishermen in their boat since Wednesday.
"The Lankan fishing vessel was located around 200 km east of Chennai. Naval personal boarded the fishing vessel and rescued the Coast Guard personnel. The Lankan fishermen and their vessel have been towed to Vishakapatnam," a naval official said.
The apprehended Sri Lankan fishing trawler will be handed over to police to initiate penal action as per Maritime Zones of India Act 1976.
On Tuesday, Coast Guard ships Priyadarshini and Saragn apprehended seven Sri Lankan fishing vessels poaching in Indian waters.
"As per standard practice two Coast Guard personnel were put on the Sri Lankan boat Win Marine along with the two Lankan fishermen while towing to Vishakapatnam (on Wednesday)," Coast Guard spokesperson Commandant Kulpreet Yadav told IANS over phone.
With the help of long knives the two fishermen overpowered the Coast Guard officials, taking them by surprise and slipped away.
Realising that one trawler was missing with two Indian security personnel, the Navy and Coast Guard jointly initiated a search operation on Thursday and located Win Marine on Friday morning.
According to Yadav, the security personnel were not expecting an armed attack as such an incident has not happened earlier.
"Coast Guard personnel normally carry small arms. But they are not authorised to shoot and kill."
Instances of Sri Lankan fishermen poaching in Indian waters are on the rise.
Yadav said in 2009, 123 Sri Lankan boats were seized and 647 Sri Lankan fishermen apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard.
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South Asia/Sri Lanka