The Alliance for the Release of Innocent Fishermen has sought the intervention of the Centre in securing the release of five fishermen of Tamil Nadu held in Sri Lanka on charges of smuggling drugs.

State coordinator U. Arulanandam said that the fishermen had been implicated in a false case. There was no evidence to prove that they were in possession of drugs. Indian intelligence agencies had also ascertained that they had set out only for the purpose of fishing. The detention was illegal. The Centre and State government were aware that the fishermen were innocent. “The very fact that the government is backing and funding a case is an indication that the fishermen are innocent. The denial of bail also undermines the report of intelligence agencies.”

Mr. Arulanandam said that the fishermen had been imprisoned for 174 days.

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