New Delhi, March 15: Seventy seven Indian fishermen released by Sri Lanka were brought home by Indian Coast Guard last night. The Indian fishermen were brought to Karaikal port by Indian Coast Guard after being handed over by Sri Lankan Navy at international maritime boundary line. Also Twelve Lankan fishermen released from Indian jail were handed over to Sri Lankan Navy by our Coast Guard.
State Fisheries Minister Jayakumar alongwith local fisheries authorities welcomed them at Karaikal port. Then they were sent to their hamlets in Ramanathapuram, Pudukottai and Nagapattinam. The fishermen were welcomed by relatives with tears in their eyes at their hamlets.
Sri Lanka released the Tamil fishermen lodged in Lankan jail after diplomatic pressure from Indian government. External Affairs ministry had taken up the issue with Sri Lankan government leading to release of Tamil fishermen lodged in Lankan jail. There was tension in fishermen hamlets of Tamil Nadu after Sri Lankan Navy had shot dead Rameswaram fisherman Britjo.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan government is considering releasing some of the fishing trawlers held in its custody as the talks between the two countries to resolve the longstanding issue has progressed well. The Joint Working Group is scheduled to meet next month to take the talks forward, said top Government officials.
Fishermen in Nagapattinam continued their indefinite hunger strike for the third day today condemning attack by Sri Lankan Navy. They are demanding release of 128 fishing boats detained by Sri Lanka.