The Indian fishermen arrested for straying into Iranian territorial waters were released on Friday.
According to a non-governmental organisation (NGO), the South Asian Fishermen Fraternity (SAFF), 29 fishermen were detained by the Iranian Coast Guard on October 10 while conducting fishing operations on the sea off Qatar. (Sea of Qatar)
Twenty-two of them were jailed while the rest were held captive in their fishing vessels, according to Father Churchill, the NGO’s general secretary. The Indian nationals were released on payment of a penalty of 12, 000 Qatar Riyals for each boat.
Speaking to The Hindu, the captain of the launch (a mechanised boat made in Qatar), Sherin of Colachel said over phone that the fishermen were informed of their release by Iranian officials and it would take another two days to complete the formalities. Father Churchill and the president of Anna Fish Workers’ Union, P. Justin Antony of Thoothur, who took the initiative on behalf of the fishermen, thanked the Iranian officials for expediting their release.
The fishermen hailed from coastal villages in Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu and Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala.