99 Fishermen From SL Prisons Likely to be Released

All the 99 fishermen are expected to be produced before the Sri Lankan courts in Puttalam, Mannar, Mallakkam, and Kaytes localities on Wednesday

Published: 05th April 2016 06:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th April 2016 06:44 PM   |  A+A-

NAGAPATTINAM: As many as 99 fishermen belonging to five coastal districts who were detained by the Sri Lankan navy in past three months charged with the offence of violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) are likely to be released from the Sri Lankan prisons on Wednesday. Though the 99 fishermen including eight Nagapattinam fishermen are to be released after formally after being produced in four Sri Lankan courts on Wednesday, about 94 fishing vessels so far confiscated by the Lankan navy are most unlikely to be released along the fishers.

According to sources, since January 2016, so far about 99 fishermen were said to be apprehended by the Sri Lankan navy that includes three from Thanjavur, eight from Nagapattinam, 19 from Pudukkottai, 20 from Thoothukudi, and about 49 fishermen from Ramanathapuram fishing hamlets. As the fishermen have been jailed in various Sri Lankan prisons for varying period maximum ordeal extending to 75 days, in a goodwill gesture, the Sri Lankan government was said to have decided to free the 99 fishermen sans their fishing vessels. All the 99 fishermen are expected to be produced before the Sri Lankan courts in Puttalam, Mannar, Mallakkam, and Kaytes localities on Wednesday for their official release, and subsequently the apprehended fishermen would be repatriated at their native hamlets within a week.

Sources added that as Sri Lankan government has been stringent on its decision to continue with confiscation of fishing boats belonging to Indian fishermen caught poaching in Sri Lankan waters, the 94 fishing vessels being held under the custody of island nation are most unlikely to be freed. It may be noted that the Nagapattinam and Karaikal fishermen associations comprising 67 hamlets have set a deadline to governments seeking the retrieval of confiscated fishing boats from Sri Lanka within April 15, 2016. Failing to do so, the fishermen associations here have warned that they would mobilize the support of fellow fishermen across the coastal districts of State for organizing massive protest against the governments seeking retrieval of fishing vessels.

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