July 27, Colombo: Sri Lanka has released the 23 Indian fishermen arrested by its Navy last week and they will be on their way home soon, Indian media reported.
The High Commission of India is making all arrangements for their return, Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna has said at a media briefing in New Delhi.
The fishermen are expected to reach Rameswaram in Tamil Nadu later Friday or Saturday.
Sri Lanka Navy apprehended the 23 Indian fishermen from Tamil Nadu with their five trawlers for intruding into Sri Lankan waters off Mannar near Katchatheevu on July 22.
The release has come a day after Indian Minister intervened on the issue and appealed to Sri Lankan authorities to release the fishermen, who have been remanded for two weeks by the Thalaimannar magistrate, on humanitarian grounds.
The arrest prompted the Tamil Nadu fishermen to go on strike demanding the Indian government to take action and the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa to fire up a letter to the Indian Prime Minister asking him to arrange the immediate release of the 23 fishermen.
The Chief Minister said incidents of apprehension and harassment by the Sri Lankan Navy have become a regular occurrence and the actions by the Sri Lankan Navy have created a feeling of insecurity in the minds of the fishermen.