India, Sri Lanka deports 89 fishermen

Published: March 14, 2017 - 17:15 Updated: August 4, 2017 - 16:12

Rameswaaram: India and Sri Lanka today repatriated 89 fishermen from each others custody, in a major step towards defusing tension aftermath the killing of an Indian fisherman allegedly by the naval personnel of the Island nation.    

Official sources said while Sri Lanka repatriated 77 fishermen, hailing from Ramanathapuram and Pudukottai districts of Tamil Nadu, India repatriated 12 Lankan fishermen as a reciprocal move. 

The Sri Lankan Navy handed over 77 Indian fishermen to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Palk Bay this afternoon.  The ICG in turn handed over 12 Lankan fishermen to the Sri Lankan Navy.    

The Sri Lankan government recently released 77 of the 85 incarcerated Indian fishermen after the Ministry of External Affairs held negotiations with the Island Nation. The remaining Indian fishermen were also expected to be released soon. 

India released 12 of the 19 Sri Lankan fishermen in its custody. 

The repatriated fishermen were likely to reach Karaikkal port in Puducherry this evening. Later, they would be taken to their respective native places. 

The fishermen were arrested by the maritime forces of both countries for cross border fishing on different incidents between February 1 and March 9.    

Fisher-folk of coastal districts of Tamil Nadu were on protest to condemn the killing of K Britjo (21) by Sri Lankan Navy on March 6, 2017.