Katchatheevu Church Feast: All 3,160 Pilgrims Back Safe

Published: 17th March 2014 12:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2014 12:31 AM   |  A+A-


All 3,160 Indian pilgrims who took part in the annual feast of St Antony's Church on Katchatheevu returned safely to Rameswaram even as one of their motorised fishing boats reportedly sank near the island where the two-day event concluded today, Coast Guard officials said.

A Coast Guard ship 'Rajkamal', an interceptor boat and a hovercraft escorted the pilgrims on boats from Rameswaram to the International Maritime Boundary Line yesterday, where a Sri Lankan naval ship took over.

Although one of the boats was "reported" to have sunk near Katchatheevu, all 3,160 pilgrims on board 94 boats were escorted to Rameswaram today and there was "no untoward incident", a Coast Guard release said without elaborating further.

Though India ceded Katchatheevu to Sri Lanka through treaties in 1974 and 1976, pilgrims from the country are allowed to take part in the annual feast of St Antony's Church which is held on the islet.

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