Sixty-six Tamil Nadu fishermen set free by a Sri Lankan court after being arrested recently by the island navy, arrived here today with the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) repatriating them.
The fishermen -- 35 from Rameswaram, 20 from Nagapattinam and 11 from Karaikal -- were handed over to the coast guard by the Sri Lankan Navy at the International Maritime Boundary Line.
The fishermen, arrested in batches since July last and remanded to judicial custody in Sri Lanka, were brought here onboard coast guard ship IGCS Rajtarang.
They were subjected to a joint interrogtation onboard the ship by police, Intelligence Bureau, Costal Security Group, Customs and Coast Guard personnel, a release from the ICG said.
Mandapam ICG station Commander H H More advised the fishermen not to cross the IMBL for the sake of their own safety.
The fishermen were also advised to contact ICG or Navy for assistance in sea as and when any distress occurred off IMBL, More said.
The fishermen alleged they were attacked with hose pipes by the Lankan naval personnel and not provided proper food during their confinement.
However, the Sri Lankan civilian officials were more courteous and gentle, they said.