According to reports, they had been arrested for allegedly poaching the Sri Lankan territorial waters. The high commission informed that they were brought back to India after being released by Lankan authorities.
The Indian High Commission wrote in a tweet, “23 Indian fishermen were repatriated back to their homes today morning from Colombo.”
The Sri Lankan Navy had arrested six Indian fishermen for violation of maritime boundary while fishing in the Palk Strait region on July 12.
In addition, at least 12 fishermen were arrested on July 3 on charges of poaching in Lankan waters.
According to Sri Lankan Navy, these arrests are done to prevent illegal fishing in the country’s waters to minimize the impact on local fishermen and sustainability of fishery resources.
The issue of fishermen is a contentious one in the ties between the neighbouring nations. Over the years, there have been various instances of Indian fishermen being taken in custody by Sri Lanka authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Lankan waters.