Mannar GA declines to send back jailed Indians by sea

[TamilNet, Thursday, 20 May 2004, 17:39 GMT]
The Mannar government agent Thursday declined a directive by the district magistrate to send back by sea three Indian fishermen jailed for illegally ferrying Tamil refugees and for smuggling explosives to the island's northwestern coast last year.

On the advice of the Attorney General, the Mannar magistrate Thursday released the three fishermen and directed the GA to make arrangements through the Sri Lanka Navy to send them back to India by sea. The Mannar GA informed the magistrate that he could not send back the three fishermen by sea with the assistance of the S.L Navy without obtaining special permission from the Ministry of Defence.

Thereafter the magistrate, Mr. N.M.M Abdullah directed the Police to hand over the three fishermen to the detention centre in Mirihana, an outer suburb of Colombo where illegal aliens are held. Mr. Anthonysaamy Sahayaraj, 28, Mr. Jawaharlal Bakeman, 47 and Mr. John Laddislal Pichchaiah, 40, of Sithamparapuram in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu were arrested at sea off Talaimannar by the S.L Navy on 7 April 2003 while ferrying 24 Sri Lankan Tamil refugees from Tamil Nadu. A stock of explosives (gelignite) used illegaly in coastal fishing was found in their possession.

A Sri Lankan Tamil boatman,Mr. Kandasamy Jeyaseelan was arrested along with the three Indian fisherman. However, Mannar courts released four days later on a surety bail upon submissions by the Police.

 

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