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* Released fishermen arrive in India
Sat, Feb 19, 2011, 01:52 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Feb 19, Chennai: All the 136 Indiana fishermen released by the Sri Lankan authorities on Friday have arrived in India today.

The Tamil Nadu fishermen in 25 boats have reached Tamil Nadu's Nagapattinam district to a rousing reception, Indian media reports said.

Bowing to the pressure from India, a Sri Lankan court released the 136 Indian fishermen who were rounded up by the Sri Lankan fishermen for poaching in their territorial waters and handed over to the police.

The court released the fishermen to the custody of Sri Lankan Navy. The Navy escorted them to the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) from where the Indian Coast Guard received them and escorted them to the district.

The arrest sparked protests in India forcing the authorities to arrest over 5,000 of DMK party members including party MPs Kanimozhi and T. K. S. Elangovan.

The release of the Indian fishermen comes after Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna made direct contact with his counterpart in Sri Lanka, Prof. G.L. Peiris about the fishermen.

The fishermen arrest has become a political issue for both India and Sri Lanka as the Tamil Nadu elections are forthcoming and Sri Lanka is holding local government elections in March.



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