The fishermen, hailing from Tamil Nadu, have been handed over to the Indian Consulate General’s office in Jaffna and will be sent home later this week.

A Sri Lankan court here on Wednesday released 19 Indian fishermen on completion of their judicial remand period.

The fishermen, said to be from Pudukottai in Tamil Nadu, were arrested in September for engaging in allegedly illegal fishing activity near Delft islands off Jaffna.

According to sources at the Consulate General of India in Jaffna, the fishermen had been handed over to the Indian Consulate General’s office and they would be sent home later this week. Their trawlers, which were confiscated by the Sri Lankan Navy had, however, not been released by the court.

Earlier this month as many as 69 fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan Navy on two separate occasions on charges of trespassing. They are still in custody.

24 Sri Lankan fishermen held

Staff Reporter from Tuticorin writes

Twenty four Sri Lankan fishermen were held on charge of illegally fishing in Indian waters on Wednesday. Four boats were also apprehended by an Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Vaibhav’ which was involved in patrolling, sources said.

They were engaged in alleged illegal activity 70 nautical miles northeast off Kanyakumari. They would be brought to Tuticorin for further investigation.

On October 12, 26 Sri Lankan fishermen and in September five more fishermen from the island nation were detained for trespassing into Indian waters, the sources added.