Local fishermen, who were on an indefinite strike since June 8 demanding release of five fishermen arrested by Lankan Navy two years ago, decided on Sunday to call it off following an assurance by Minister of State for Heavy Industries Pon. Radhakrishan, a representative of the fishermen’s association said.

Fishermen association presidents of Rameswaram, Mandapam and Pampan had gone to Chennai recently and apprised Mr. Radhakrishnan of fishermen’s problems, T.Sasuraja, Rameswaram fishermen association president said.

Mr. Radhakrishnan told them that Central government was taking necessary steps to release the 23 fishing boats which were seized by Lankan navy personnel and the five fishermen of Thankachimadam who were arrested on charges of smuggling drugs.

They would venture into the sea for fishing tomorrow, he said.

They also decided to advice fishermen not to fish in Lankan waters. He said they also requested Central and State governments to release Lankan fishermen who have been arrested for fishing in Indian waters and their boats as a goodwill gesture. More than 1500 mechanised boats did not put to sea during the stir.

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