Sri Lanka to release 113 Indian fishermen

The Sri Lankan Government has recommended the release of 113 Indian fishermen arrested in recent months by its Navy on charges of fishing in its territorial waters, a fishermen association leader said in Tamil Nadu.

A communication in this regard had been sent to the court in Jaffna, Tamil Nadu Mechanised Boats Fishermen Association President P Sesuraja said quoting information received from the Fisheries officials in Sri Lanka, the Press Trust of India reported.

The fishermen from Tamil Nadu had been detained over a period of time and lodged in prisons in the neighbouring country. Their mechanised boats had been impounded.

The state Government had taken up the issue with the Centre last month and sought release of the fishermen and the boats. This is the second instance of release of Indian fishermen in large numbers since December last year.

The Sri Lankan Government had released 89 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and Puducherry in the last week of December.

Sesuraja said the court in Jaffna today set free four of the fishermen, whose release had been requested on an urgent basis following the death of the son of one of them here.

The other 109 fishermen were likely to be released in the next few days after completion of judicial process, he added. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka had requested for the release of Jayaseelan and three of his relatives on parole following the death of his son.

The Sri Lankan Government, however, recommended the release of the 113 fishermen who were detained till last month. Another 27 fishermen, detained later, would still be under Sri Lankan custody.

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