Five Kumari fishermen released from Seychelles return home
MADURAI: It was a happy homecoming for five fishermen of Kanniyakumari district, who were released from detention in Seychelles.
Joy knew no bounds of the relatives of - S Jerin Raju of Poothurai, V Sunil of Ezhudesam Chinnathurai, Maria Sekar of Poothurai, Kuklin and Anthony of Poothurai, who reached Nagercoil by road on Thursday, after three months of incarceration.
Kanniyakumari deputy director of fisheries M Kasinathapandian, when contacted, said the freed fishermen reached Nagercoil at 11.30 am, thanks to the continuous efforts of the government. Earlier on Wednesday night, they reached Chennai airport around 8.30 pm.
According to sources, these five fishermen were part of a group of 56, who were apprehended by the authorities on charges of illegal fishing in Seychelles waters on March 7, 2022.
While the fishermen aboard three boats ventured into the sea off Kochi, Kerala, on March 7, two other boats set out from Thengapattinam harbour in Kanniyakumari district, Tamil Nadu on March 9, Justin Antony, president, International Fishermen Development Trust said.
Recalling the harrowing time during the detention period, 37-year-old Jerin Raju, a captain-cum-boat owner from Poothurai, said they were detained by the naval authorities of Seychelles on the 16th day of fishing at sea on charges of trespassing into their territorial waters. A court in Seychelles ordered the release of five detenues, on June 7, but the boats are still under the custody of Seychelles. Further, Jerin said he had a hard time in jail for over three months concerned over the condition of his family - wife and three children. Just only for 10 minutes a month, the prison authorities allowed us to talk with family members, he recalled.