Sri Lanka Releases 126 Indian Fishermen

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Colombo: Sri Lanka has freed all the 126 Indian fishermen arrested by its navy for allegedly poaching into the country’s waters on Monday.

Their release yesterday came as Lanka and India completed the formalities for the release of fishermen detained in each other’s country for allegedly fishing in each other’s waters, Colombo Page reported.

All fishermen are from Tamil Nadu.Indian authorities are also expected to release 37 Lankan fishermen from their custody. Only 116 Indian fishermen were released from jails yesterday as formalities for the release of 10 others could not be completed.

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The 10 fishermen had criminal charges filed against them for allegedly ramming a Sri Lankan Navy patrol craft. Although the Attorney General has decided to withdraw the cases against the 10 fishermen, the decision was not communicated to relevant authorities in Jaffna in time. They are expected to be freed today.

The two countries have held top ministerial level talks in this regard and the issue figured in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Sri Lanka early this year.