40 Indian fishermen, who were detained in Sri Lanka for the last two months on charges of trespassing into that country’s territorial waters has been released as the Sri Lanka court ordered the authorities to release them.
14 fishermen from Rameshwaram in Tamil Nadu and their three boats have been detained On June 1 by the Sri Lankan navy. From Nagapattinam in Tamil Nadu and Karaikal in the Union territory of Puducherry 26 fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on June 21. The fishermen were then produced in the court.
All of them were released by the Magistrates of the court. Point Pedro Magistrate released 26 fishermen who had been in detention since June 21, the Mannar Magistrate released 14.
The cases against the fishermen were withdrawn bu the boats and equipment were still in the custody of Sri Lanka. The court did not mention anything about the equipment and boats of fishermen which is in the custody of Navy
U Arulanandam of the Alliance for Release of Innocent Fishermen said that the released fishermen were likely to reach their hometowns on Tuesday.
Five fishing boats have been confiscated by Sri Lankan navy from Rameshwaram. But the fishermen were later released.
District secretary of the Tamil Nadu Mechanized Boat Fishermen Association B Jesuraja.”We express our gratitude to state and central governments for releasing our fishermen, but boats are not released. Without boats, our livelihood is crippled.”