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Lankan navy hands over Indian fishermen to Coast Guard

August 16, 2014 13:20 IST

Sri Lankan navy on Saturday handed over 94 Tamil Nadu fishermen taken into custody by them to the Indian Coast Guard at the International Maritime Boundary Line, police said.

The fishermen, belonging to Ramanathapuram, Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts, were taken into custody by the navy last month on charges of violating IMBL, Inspector Kennady said.

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa had on August 13 ordered their release as a goodwill gesture ahead of India’s Independence Day. The fishermen would be brought by the Coast Guard personnel by evening, Kennedy said.

Sri Lanka has released 225 Indian fishermen since the Narendra Modi government took over in May this year. The 94 fishermen were the fresh batch released by the island nation.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had last month wrote to Prime Minister Modi urging him to take immediate steps to get the 94 fishermen released along with 62 boats that were confiscated by the Lankan navy. 

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