As many as 49 fishermen from Rameswaram, who were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on June 5, are on their way home from prisons in the island nation thanks to the efforts of Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
The island Navy arrested 24 fishermen fishing in the Palk Straits in five mechanised boats on June 5. On the same day, 25 more fishermen were detained and taken to Kayts island and later lodged in prison.
On information, the Chief Minister brought the incident to the notice of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and called for summoning the Sri Lankan High Commissioner in New Delhi and lodge a strong protest.
The Chief Minister also pointed out that despite her repeated protests, the Centre had not taken any firm stance in the matter and has exerted little or no diplomatic pressure on Colombo to bring about a permanent solution to the problem of harassment and arrests of innocent fiserhmen from Tamil Nadu by the personnel of the Sri Lankan Navy.
On directions from the Chief Minister, the State government officials had contacted the Indian Embassy in Colombo and taken steps to get the 49 fishermen released.
While 24 fishermen were freed from Anuradhapura prison on July 2, 25 fishermen were released from Jaffna prison.
According to an official release, the freed fishermen would be returning to Tamil Nadu within a day or two.