Indian Navy today stepped up patrols and set up an "effective" blockade to prevent hundreds of Tamil Nadu fishermen from leading a flotilla to Sri Lanka to protest at frequent arrests, officials here said.
A Si Lankan navy spokesman said India's coastguard and the Navy stopped hundreds of protesting Indian fishermen from setting out and thereby prevented a confrontation at sea.
The fishermen from Tamil Nadu had planned to enter Sri Lankan territorial waters to protest at the seizing of their trawlers straying into Sri Lankan waters.
"The Indian navy and the coastguard had stepped up patrols and set up an effective blockade," Sri Lankan navy spokesman Jayantha Perera said.
"We were also ready with our own arrangements but the protest did not materialise."
Indian fishermen are frequently detained by the Sri Lankan navy as well as by local fishermen who accuse their Indian counterparts of trawling in the rich prawn grounds off the island's northwestern coast.