Colombo: Eleven Indian fishermen were released on Tuesday on the instructions from a local court, a month after they were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly poaching in the country’s territorial waters, officials said.

The fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on February 7 near the Delft Island in the north. Their three fishing trawlers were also seized. The fishermen were charged for bottom trawling.

“11 Indian fishermen detained in Jaffna prison were released by the Kayts court today. The consulate in Jaffna provided them with the legal assistance by representing their case in the court and facilitated their early release,” the Consulate General of India in Jaffna, Raakesh Natraj Jayabhaskaran, tweeted.

They have been released with one-and-a-half-years jail sentences suspended for 10 years, J Sudakaran, the Assistant Director of Fisheries Jaffna, told PTI.

“On May 27, there will be another inquiry by the court on the three boats,” Sudakaran added.

In the recent weeks, the Sri Lankan fisher organisations have stepped up their protests to urge the government to stop Indian fishermen from entering the island nation’s waters for fishing.

The fishermen issue is a contentious one in ties between the two countries.

The issue also figured in the talks between External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and his Sri Lankan counterpart G L Peiris during the latter’s three-day official visit to India last month.

There have been several alleged incidents of the Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.

The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.

We see clear advantages in a central bank driven digital currency: FM

Trending Stories

Latest Stories

Leave a comment

Leave a comment Cancel reply