Forty fishermen from Karaikal and Nagapattinam, who were detained by the Sri Lankan navy, reached the Mandapam fishing jetty along with their five boats on Thursday after their release recently.
The fishermen ventured out into the sea on November 28 and were detained by the Lankan navy when they were fishing near Polder Point located near the Eastern coast of Lanka, on December 3, a source with the Fisheries Department said.
They were kept in the custody of the Lankan Police at Trincomalee. The Tamil Nadu government subsequently approached the Lankan authorities seeking their early release. On Tuesday, the Lankan government issued an order to free the detained fishermen. Accordingly, the 40 persons were handed over to the Indian High Commission in Lanka, where they stayed for two days.
Subsequently, personnel of the Indian Coast Guard went to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) on patrol vessel Gangadevi to receive the fishermen and their boats from the Lankan navy. The ICG brought the fishermen to the north fishing jetty at Mandapam, where officials from the ICG, Customs department, Q Branch and other Intelligence agencies conducted inquiries with them.