Tamil Nadu government today said it will bear the legal expenses of 30 fishermen from the State, who have been lodged in Qatar prison, on charges of transgressing into its maritime boundary.

Fishermen from Kanyakumari district in the State were working in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and 49 of them were recently arrested by Qatari authorities for transgressing into their maritime boundary while fishing, a government press release said here.

“Chief Minister M Karunanidhi today directed that the State government will bear all legal expenses for them and take all efforts to release them from the prison,” the release said.

While 19 of them had been released yesterday, the rest were still languishing in prison and their employers were not forthcoming to help them or provide them with legal assistance, it said.

Meanwhile, the government appointed senior IAS officer Sunil Paliwal to supervise relief measures undertaken at Kanyakumari district, which has been marooned following the monsoon fury.

The district collector has been asked to submit an assessment report of the damage to roads and water bodies, the release said.

People from more than 50 residential areas have been surrounded by water and lodged in 33 relief camps, the release said, adding, personnel of Coast Guard, National Disaster Management and Army were involved in rescue operations.

Cash relief has been ordered for damaged houses and huts.