A Sri Lankan court has released 12 Indian fishermen who were detained for allegedly fishing in the island nation's territorial waters and India’s High Commission here is taking steps for their early return to Tamil Nadu.
The fishermen, who have been released by the country’s northern Mannar court, were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy December 19.
“12 Indian fishermen detained in Mannar on 19th December, 2021, have been released by Mannar court today. @CGJaffna provided them with the legal assistance by representing their cases in the court & facilitated their early release,” India’s Consulate in Jaffna said on Twitter.
Earlier, the High Commission of India here said on Twitter that it was “happy to learn from our lawyer in Mannar that 13 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu are being released”.
It said that “soon after the court verdict, our official from @CGJaffna met with the #Indian fishermen and offered sweets. We are taking steps for early return”.
Last month, India had expressed concern over the detention of 68 of its fishermen from Tamil Nadu by Sri Lankan authorities and said the issue of their "early release" has been taken up with the island nation.
The issue of fishermen remains one of the irritants in India and Sri Lanka ties.
There have been several alleged incidents of Sri Lankan Navy personnel even firing at Indian fishermen in the Palk Strait and seizing their boats.
The Palk Strait, which is a narrow strip of water separating Tamil Nadu from Sri Lanka, is a rich fishing ground for fishermen from both countries.