Indian fishermen released on AG's direction

[TamilNet, Friday, 25 April 2003, 14:22 GMT]
On the instructions of the Attorney General (AG), the Mannar Magistrate Friday released twenty six Indian fishermen who had been remanded by the court after being captured by local fishermen in Pesalai when they were poaching in Sri lankan waters, legal sources said.

The acting Mannar Magistrate, Mr.A.S.Johnthasan, also ordered the release of the twenty-seven boats of the Indian fishermen kept in the custody of the Sri Lanka Navy, legal sources said.

The Mannar Magistrate’s order to release the Indian fishermen and their boats was made when Police submitted to court the directive of the Attorney General, sources said

The released Indian fishermen and their boats are now in the custody of the Mannar divisional secretariat officials who will allow the fishermen to go to their country in their boats by sea with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Navy in the next few days, sources said.

Of the 27 boats, nine are kept at the Kalpity navy camp and the rest at Vankalaipadu navy camp, sources said

Pesalai fishermen caught about one hundred Indian fishermen on March 4 when they were fishing in Sri Lankan territorial waters. Later, they were handed over to the Mannar Police, who in turn produced them in the courts. The Magistrate ordered remand for them, which created tension in South India. Most of the fishermen were released except 26 boatmen who were ordered remanded pending instruction from the Attorney General. The Mannar Magistrate had ordered that their boats be handed over to the Sri Lanka Navy for safe custody till the case was over, sources said.

 

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