Fishermen freed by Sri Lanka return home today

The five are likely to meet Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Panneerselvam on their way to Rameswaram

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:52 pm IST

Published - November 21, 2014 08:18 am IST - Chennai

Five fishermen from Tamil Nadu, who were sentenced to death in Sri Lanka for alleged drug trafficking but set free after President Mahinda Rajapaksa pardoned them, arrived in Chennai on Thursday.

The fishermen from Rameswaram, who were released by Sri Lankan authorities on Wednesday, arrived by an Air India flight at 1.05 a.m., airport officials said.

Tamil Nadu Ministers B. Valarmathi, S. Sundararaj and K.A. Jayapal, Union Minister of State and senior BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan and State BJP president Tamilisai Soundararajan were among those who received the fishermen.

The five — Emerson, P. Augustus, R. Wilson, K. Prasath and J. Langlet — are likely to call on Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam in Chennai on Friday before returning to their home town.

Earlier in the day, families of the fishermen gathered in Tiruchirappalli airport anticipating their arrival there from Colombo, but returned to Rameswaram disappointed, as officials told them the five would be flying directly to Delhi.

The families had left Rameswaram early Thursday morning and come to the airport at about 8 a.m., as they were told the fishermen would arrive in Tiruchirapalli from Colombo by a Sri Lankan flight, wife of one of the fishermen told reporters.

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