Fishermen in Sri Lanka Jail Call off Fast After Assurance of Release
RAMESWARAM: Twenty-four fishermen from Tamil Nadu today called off their hunger strike in a prison in Sri Lanka after the island nation's officials assured a fishermen's body in the state that they would be set free in a week.
The fishermen started fast in the Lankan prison yesterday demanding that they be released along with their boats.
Manoharan, president of the Federation of six fishermen's associations in Nagapattinam, said officials in Sri Lanka had assured him that the fishermen would be released from the prison in Jaffna within a week. This had been conveyed to them after which they agreed to withdraw the fast, he said.
The fishermen, 16 from Pudukottai and eight from this coastal town, were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on September 28 when they were fishing near Katchatheevu, an islet ceded to Sri Lanka by India in 1974.
A Sri Lankan court later ordered that they be lodged in a prison in Jaffna.
Meanwhile, fishermen in 631 mechanised boats who put out to sea from here yesterday, returned without fishing after the Sri Lankan Navy reportedly threatened to arrest them.