Sri Lanka releases Indian fishermen

Last Updated: Fri, Jul 27, 2012 19:23 hrs

New Delhi: The Sri Lankan authorities on Friday released all 23 detained Indian fishermen.

External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna disclosed the development in course of a joint news conference that he and the visiting Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa addressed here.

"I am happy to inform you that the 23 Indian fishermen have been released a short while back. I thank the Sri Lankan government for this humanitarian gesture, and I have instructed our High Commissioner in Colombo to make all necessary arrangements for the fishermen to be flown back to India and to their respective places," he said.

Reportedly, Sri Lankan Navy targeted the Indian trawlers and rounded up 23 fishermen, belonging to Tamil Nadu, when they were fishing near Katchatheevu Island in the Palk Straits.

Earlier on Monday Sri Lankan High Commissioner to India Prasad Kariyawasam had said that the 23 arrested fishermen were produced before a magistrate and they would be released soon.

Kariyawasam had also said the fishermen had strolled into the Sri Lankan territorial waters and one of the trawlers was moving close to the patrol vessel of Sri Lankan Navy.

More from Sify: