21 Sri Lankan fishermen held in India released

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 26, 2013 14:40 hrs

Colombo, Feb 26 (IANS) Twenty-one Sri Lankan fishermen have been released from India and are due to arrive here Wednesday, the fisheries ministry said here.

Along with the fishermen, four fishing boats that were taken into custody by the Indian Coast Guard have also been released, Xinhua quoted ministry spokesman Narendra Rajapaksa as saying.

The Indian Coast Guard has taken measures to hand over the fishermen and their vessels to the Sri Lanka Navy at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Kankasanthurai, said Rajapaksa.

The Indian Coast Guard unit on patrol off Krishnapet near Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh arrested the fishermen Jan 18, according to media reports.

They were detained along with their four boats and equipment and brought to Chennai where they were remanded for 15 days by a court order.

Tension prevails between the fishermen of the two countries who regularly cross into each other's territorial waters.

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