STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Five Indian Fishermen Set Free by Lanka Arrive in Chennai

Published: 21st November 2014 07:56 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st November 2014 10:36 AM   |  A+A-

Rajapaksa
By PTI

CHENNAI: Five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were sentenced to death in Sri Lanka for alleged drug trafficking but set free after President Mahinda Rajapaksa pardoned them, arrived here today.

The fishermen from Rameswaram, who were released by Sri Lankan authorities yesterday, arrived by an Air India flight at 1.05 am, airport officials said.

Tamil Nadu Ministers B Valarmathi, Dr S Sundararaj and K A Jayapal, Union Minister of State and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan, state BJP President Tamilisai Soundararajan were among those who received the fishermen.

The five -- Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet -- are likely to call on Chief Minister O Panneerselvam here tomorrow before returning to their home town.

Earlier in the day, families of the fishermen gathered in Tiruchirappalli airport anticipating their arrival there from Colombo, but returned to Rameswaram disappointed, as officials told them the five would be flying directly to Delhi.

The families had left Rameswaram early this morning and come to the airport at about 8.00 AM, as they were told the fishermen would arrive here from Colombo by a Sri Lankan flight, wife of one of the fishermen told reporters.

The fishermen were apprehended in November 2011 and sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on October 30 for alleged drug trafficking.

The court ruling had triggered protests in parts of the state and sparked sporadic violence in and around Rameswaram while political parties called for steps to set them free.

Tamil Nadu government also took up the issue with the Centre and even sent Rs 20 lakh for the appeal before the Sri Lankan Supreme Court, which was withdrawn later.

Rajapaksa commuted the death sentence after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a telephonic conversation with him last week on the issue.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp