The 23 Indian fishermen who were arrested in Sri Lanka last week, were released from judicial custody on Wednesday and are expected to return home on Thursday, officials said.
The detained fishermen, along with their five boats that were seized, would be handed over by the Lankan Navy to Indian Coastguard on Thursday at the International Maritime Boundary Line, Coast Guard Assistant Commander Safaya said.
The release of the fishermen was ordered by Mannar district court magistrate Karuppiah Jeevarani, Intelligence Bureau officials said.
The fishermen, on board five trawlers, were held last week off the north east coat of Mannar by the Lankan Navy and then handed over to the Talaimannar police.
Following the arrest, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa had sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's intervention to secure their release.