Rameswaram: Sri Lankan Navymen Monday detained 14 fishermen from Tamil Nadu for allegedly fishing in their waters but freed them hours later on sighting an Indian Navy vessel near the International Maritime Boundary Line.
A senior Navy official said the vessel was sent after
coming to know about the plight of the fishermen to bring
them back and on spotting it, the Lankan navy released them.
Naval Commander Vijaranya told PTI that the Indian
fishermen were being brought to shores along with their boat.
The fishermen were taken into custody when they were
near the third sand dune between Katchatheevu, an islet ceded
by India to Sri Lanka, and Arichalmunai in the sea off Rameswara, where another group of 13 fishermen were detained by the island navy and released recently.
Fisheries department officials, quoting four released
fishermen, said the armed Sri Lankan navalmen came in two
boats and asked the 18 fishermen to surrender.
They took 14 fishermen into custody and towed one boat
with them while releasing four fishermen and another boat.
The 14 fishermen were handed over to Indian Navy who
would bring them back.
President of Indo-Sri Lankan Innocent Fishermen`s
Association Arualanandan, quoting an Indian official based in
Jaffna in Sri Lanka, claimed the fishermen were released
immediately on the orders of the Sri Lankan government.