IGP orders action against Jaffna fishermen for detaining Indian poachers

[TamilNet, Sunday, 17 August 2003, 17:06 GMT]
Sri Lanka’s Inspector General of Police Mr.T.E.Anandarajah has issued a directive to police officials in the Jaffna district to take action against northern fishermen who failed to hand over captured Indian poachers to the police, Jaffna police said Sunday.

The Senior Superintendent of Police for the Jaffna district Sunday informed the representatives of the Vadamaradchi North Fisheries Society of the IGP's directive at a hurriedly summoned conference held at the Point Pedro police station located inside the 524 Brigade headquarters of the Sri Lanka Army complex, sources said.

The Jaffna SSP further informed the fisheries representatives that the police have been instructed by the IGP to take action only on Indian boatmen who poached into Sri Lankan territorial waters and also to keep the Indian trawlers in the police custody for further action, sources said.

According to the IGP's directive, the police will not take action against poaching Indian fishermen. Instead, they will be handed over to the Indian coast guard in midsea, the SSP said.

The Indian High Commissioner in Colombo had promised the IGP that Indian authorities would take action to prevent Indian fishermen straying into the Sri Lankan territorial waters in future.

Vadamaradchi fishermen were requested at the conference to lodge a complaint with the Police if poaching Indian fishermen had damaged their fishing gear. Action will be taken to pay compensation to fishermen for the loss or damage caused to their fishing gear and other materials by poachers, Jaffna SSP said.

At this stage, a fisheries society representative said, he informed the Jaffna SSP that just the night before, Saturday night, poaching Indian fishermen had damaged their fishing gear in northern sea close to the Inbaruty village, sources said. The damage caused to their fishing gear had been estimated at about 150,000 rupees.

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