Twenty-two Indian fishermen who were released by Sri Lanka returned to Mandapam along with five fishing boats on Wednesday.
The fishermen of Rameswaram, who ventured into the sea for fishing on February 25, were apprehended by the Sri Lankan Navy for foraying into Sri Lankan waters on the same day. They were kept under custody at Mannar naval camp.
Due to intensive diplomatic efforts, Sri Lankan authorities released all 22 fishermen along with their boats.
The repatriation took place near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), where the Sri Lankan Naval personnel handed over the fishermen to Indian Coast Guard personnel. The Coast Guard ship Ganga Devi, subsequently, brought them to Mandapam.
On arrival, Commandant H.H. More, Commanding Officer, Coast Guard Station, Mandapam, made enquiries with the fishermen. The intelligence agencies and police also carried out joint interrogation with them about the circumstances that led to them to Sri Lankan waters.
Navy personnel of Maldives have reportedly detained 11 fishermen from Eraviputhenthurai while they were fishing in the deep sea in the early hours of Wednesday.
According to the panchayat president of Thuthur, S.John Alosyius, the fishermen from Eraviputhenthurai and of Mullurthurai set out to sea on February 23.
The Maldivian Navy personnel informed the wife of the boat owner over phone that 11 fishermen were arrested on the charge of crossing International Maritime Boundary Line.
Keywords: fishermen released