Fishermen held in Lanka to be released: TN govt



Chennai: The 23 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by Sri Lankan Navy on June 20, will be released in two days, the state government said on Friday.

"The Centre has informed that the Sri Lankan government had assured that the arrested fishermen will be released in two days," a state government release said here.

It said that Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had written to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh requesting his intervention in securing the release of the fishermen and also instructed state Chief Secretary Debendranath Sarangi to take follow-up action with the Centre.

"The chief secretary was in constant touch with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and other Central officials on the release of the fishermen," it said.

The Lankan Navy had detained the 23 fishermen hailing from Mandapam and Rameswaram areas after they "inadvertently" strayed into the island waters.

Fishermen in Rameswaram, who went on an indefinite strike from June 20 protesting the arrest, withdrew their agitation yesterday after officials assured them that efforts were being taken for the safe release of their colleagues.

PTI