NAGAPATTINAM: Eight fishermen belonging to Nagapattinam fishing hamlets released by a Sri Lankan court a week ago were repatriated by the Indian Coast Guard personnel at Karaikal port on Friday evening.
The repatriated fishermen were received by Tamil Nadu Fisheries Minister KA Jayapal and district collector S Palanisamy with relief packages. With as many as 106 fishermen still languishing in Sri Lanka, sources said that the rest would soon be repatriated in the next two days.
According to sources, the eight repatriated fishermen identified as Ranaganathan (29), Anandavel (50), Lakshmanan (40), Chitiraivel (28), Kannan (27), Swaminathan (25), Balamurugan (35) and Vinoth (28) hailed from Akkaraipettai fishing village.
The crew had ventured from Nagapattinam fishing harbour in a mechanised boat owned by Krishnakumar, on January 2. Owing to a technical snag developed in the boat, the eight fishermen on January 4 were said to have collided with a Sri Lankan fishing boat near Mullaitivu waters causing an altercation.
The outraged Sri Lankan fishermen forcefully seized the Nagapattinam based boat and the crew on board. The detained Nagai fishermen were then produced before a Sri Lankan court at Trincomalee on January 5. The court, considering the genuine reason stated by eight fishermen released them. They were subsequently handed over to the Indian Embassy officials.