Death for five Indian fishermen

Sri Lankan court finds them guilty of drug-trafficking

October 30, 2014 05:28 pm | Updated November 16, 2021 07:12 pm IST - Colombo/New Delhi

The Colombo High Court on Thursday awarded the death sentence to five Tamil Nadu fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy in November 2011 on drug trafficking charges.

P. Emerson, P. Augustus, R. Wilson, K. Prasath, and J. Lanklet from Rameswaram spent nearly a year in prison in Jaffna and were later taken to the Welikada prison in Colombo, said sources in the Indian consulate in Jaffna.

The fishermen were charged with smuggling heroin into northern Sri Lanka, an allegation they have strongly denied.

Three Sri Lankan fishermen were also sentenced to death on the same charges.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s announcement ahead of his visit to India in May 2014 on the release of “all Indian fishermen” in Sri Lankan custody as a “goodwill gesture” had brought hope to those arrested.

The only Indian fishermen detained then were those arrested on charges of drug trafficking. However, they were not released and Sri Lankan government sources later said the President’s announcement did not pertain to them.

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