Sept 23, Colombo: A Sri Lankan court Monday ordered to release the 35 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy last month.
Sri Lankan Navy arrested the 35 Tamil Nadu fishermen on August 26 for allegedly poaching in Sri Lankan waters in the seas north of Kalpitiya and seized their four boats.
Magistrate of Puttalam Court ordered the release of the fishermen when they were produced before the magistrate.
The magistrate however has not given orders to release the four boats.
Sri Lanka recently changed its policy on the Indian fishermen invading country's waters. Instead of the earlier method of 'catch and release' now the poaching fishermen will be detained and produced in court. The fishermen will be released after they plead guilty and their boats will be confiscated.
The authorities had taken this decision to deter the continuous invasion of Sri Lankan waters by Tamil Nadu fishermen.
Despite the measures Indian fishermen continue to enter Sri Lankan waters claiming that the Palk Bay area is their traditional fishing grounds.
Sri Lankan Navy personnel arrested 20 Tamil Nadu fishermen on Sunday along with 04 fishing vessels and handed them over to Thalaimannar Police for legal action.