Sri Lanka releases 54 Indian fishermen arrested this week, seizes five trawlers
Colombo: Sri Lanka has released the 54 Indian fishermen arrested this week for allegedly poaching in the country’s territorial waters, Indian officials confirmed on Saturday.
Indian official sources here said 40 of them were released on Friday and the remaining 14 were released this morning.
The 54 Indian fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on March 24 at two different locations in the North and Northeast Seas.
The navy also seized its five trawlers.
Upon their arrest, the Indian High Commission said here that it was providing consular assistance to arrested fishermen.
He said the issue of fishermen should be dealt with in a humanitarian manner. The Indian High Commission in a statement said bilateral mechanisms were being used to see a swift resolution of the matter.
Fishermen from both countries are frequently arrested for inadvertently entering each other’s waters. The issue of fishermen has become a major irritant in bilateral relations.
In January, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited Sri Lanka, met with Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and raised the issue of fishermen and reviewed bilateral cooperation in fisheries.
“We are looking forward to the early return of our fishermen from Sri Lanka,” Jaishankar said.
Later, a three-member committee was appointed by the Sri Lankan government that will make recommendations on measures to stop poaching by Indian fishermen in the country’s waters after four people were killed when an Indian trawler capsized after colliding with a Sri Lankan Navy vessel.
Also read: PMO and Indian Foreign Ministry finally vote on Sri Lanka, not Tamil parties
Subscribe to our channels on YouTube and Telegram
Why the news media is in crisis and how to fix it
India needs even more free, fair, open-ended, questioning journalism in the face of multiple crises.
But the news media are in a crisis of their own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay cuts. The best of journalism is dwindling, giving way to crass spectacle in prime time.
ThePrint has the best young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. To support journalism of this quality, smart, thoughtful people like you have to pay the price. Whether you live in India or abroad, you can do it here.
Support our journalism