A total 23 Indian fishermen who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters have been released by the authorities here and repatriated, the Indian High Commission said on Friday.
"23 Indian fishermen were repatriated back to their homes today morning from Colombo," the Indian High Commission here said in a tweet.
On July 12, the Sri Lankan Navy arrested six Indian fishermen for alleged violation of maritime boundary while fishing in the Palk Strait region.
At least 12 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on July 3 for allegedly poaching in the country's territorial waters.
According to the Sri Lankan Navy, these arrests are part of their patrols to cut illegal fishing in the country's waters to minimise the impact from poaching on the local fishermen and sustainability of fishery resources in Sri Lanka.
The fishermen issue is a contentious one in the ties between India and Sri Lanka.
There have been periodic instances of Indian fishermen being apprehended by Sri Lankan authorities for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and fishing in Sri Lankan waters.
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