RAMESWARAM: Seventy-six Tamil Nadu fishermen, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for allegedly fishing in the island nation's territorial waters, were today ordered to be released by a Lankan court, police officials said here.
The Oorkavalthurai court set free the fishermen, lodged in a Jaffna jail following their arrest in separate incidents over three months this year, they said.
Among those ordered to be released were 12 fishermen from Rameswaram, six from Mandapam, 46 from Pudukottai and eight from Nagapattinam.
Rameswaram fishermen's Association President S Emirit said the fishermen are expected to reach Karaikal in a day or two.
Their release came on a day when External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is visiting Colombo to participate in the two-day Indian Ocean Conference from today.
Fishermen Association sources said four fishermen are still lodged in Jaffna jail.
Meanwhile, eight fishermen from Tamil Nadu were arrested
and their two boats seized by the Sri Lankan Navy in separate incidents today for allegedly fishing in the island nation's territorial waters, fisheries department officials said.