103 more fishermen in Indian custody

Sri Lankan fishin boat in Indian custody

There were about 100 Sri Lankan fishermen and fishing trawlers in the custody of Indian authorities, the Fisheries Ministry said.

The Ministry said that only 11of them had been released so far.

“There are 103 Sri Lankan fishermen in the Indian custody. Eleven of them were released. The released fishermen are now under the protection of the Maha Bodhi Society Temple in Chennai,” Ministry’s Assistant Director Lal De Silva said.

He said the requests had been made through the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka and the Indian External Affairs Ministry to release the remaining Sri Lankan fishermen and their fishing trawlers, he said.

However, President Mahinda Rajapaksa in a goodwill gesture on Monday ordered the release of 78 Indian fishermen who were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday.

De Silva said that the Indian fishermen would be handed over to the Indian Coast Guard through the Sri Lankan Navy.

There was no report on releasing Indian fishing trawlers.

He said, Indian fishermen were produced in the Jaffna and Mannar Magistrate Courts and ordered to be remanded till June 16.

“The Ministry will file motions before the Mannar and Jaffna Magistrate Courts to release them under the Presidential directive,” he said

(Daily Mirror)