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Lankan court releases 24 Pudukai fishers with conditions

Sources said that the Sri Lankan court ordered their release on the condition that they will be locked up for a long period if they are caught again in a period of 10 years and ordered to uphold the confiscation of the fishing boats and the equipment.

TIRUCHY: A Sri Lankan court on Monday released as many as 24 Indian fishermen who had been detained for crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and they are expected to arrive in Chennai in a couple of days after completing the formalities.

Sources said that the Sri Lankan court ordered their release on the condition that they will be locked up for a long period if they are caught again in a period of 10 years and ordered to uphold the confiscation of the fishing boats and the equipment.

As many as 24 fishermen from Jegathapattinam and Kottaipattinam in Pudukkottai district were apprehended on November 28 and five mechanised boats were seized by the Sri Lankan Navy. They were taken to Talaimannar and were presented before the court after handing them over to the officials of the fisheries department at Talaimannar. Later, they were lodged in local prisons.

Chief Minister MK Stalin wrote a letter to the Union government to initiate steps for the release of the fishermen on the same day.

In such a backdrop, on Monday, they were brought to the court, which ordered their release.

Sources from the Fisheries Department said that the released fishermen would be repatriated by flight to Chennai from where they are expected to reach their respective villages.

Despite elated by the information about the release of the detained fishermen, the fellow fishers demanded a permanent solution for the frequent arrests by the island nation and appealed to the Centre to initiate steps for a lasting solution.

The released fishermen were warned that if they are caught again in a period of 10 years they will be locked up for a long period

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