Court releases Indian fishermen on police application

[TamilNet, Wednesday, 05 March 2003, 18:47 GMT]
The Mannar Magistrate, Mr.M.P.Mohideen, Wednesday released 80 Indian fishermen from remand when the Police made an application to release them, saying there was turmoil in India over their arrest and the security of Sri Lankan refugees in South India was at stake until the Indian fishermen were released, legal sources said.

Sri Lankan fishermen took 118 Indian fishermen into custody and handed them over to the Police following a clash between them on Monday and Tuesday. Of those 118, 17 were admitted to the hospital with injuries sustained in the clash. The Magistrate remanded the rest. The clash took place when Indian fishermen trespassed into the territorial waters of Sri Lanka.

The Mannar Magistrate ordered further remand for Indian fishermen when they were produced in court Wednesday. However, the Deputy Inspector General of Police, Mr.H.Premaratne, with Headquarters Inspector, Premasiri, appeared in court and made an application seeking the release of the remanded Indians, the sources said.

In their application, the Police said that the arrest of Indian fishermen had created turmoil in South India and the safety of the Sri Lankan refugees residing in welfare camps in South India was at stake. The release of the Indian fishermen from remand was sought to ease tension, the sources said.

The Magistrate allowed the application and ordered that the 80 Indian fishermen be handed over to the Mannar Additional Government Agent, Mr.V.Visuvalingam, to be sent to India with maximum protection. The Magistrate ordered further remand for 12 Indian crew and 9 trawler owners till March 20.

The Magistrate instructed the Police to hand over the 27 Indian fishing boats captured in the clash to the Sri Lanka Navy detachment, the sources said.

 

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