June 25, Colombo: Sri Lanka on Wednesday released 46 Indian fishermen who were arrested by Sri Lanka Navy on June 18, 2014 on charges of poaching in the country's territorial waters.
The Navy in two separate occasions on 18th June 2014arrested the 46 Tamil Nadu fishermen along with their fishing trawlers for fishing well within Sri Lankan waters off Delft Islands and Thalaimannar.
The arrested fishermen were handed over to the officials of the Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Kankasanthurai and Thalaimannar for further action and were remanded later.
The officials at the Indian High Commission in Colombo said the 46 fishermen had been released today.
Official Spokesperson of India's Ministry of External Affairs in New Delhi Syed Akbaruddin tweeted that the "46 Indian fishermen in custody in Sri Lanka being released and modalities for their return being worked out."
The Tamil Nadu Chief Minister wrote to the Indian Prime Minister to take urgent action to get all the 64 fishermen in Sri Lankan custody released.
Another 18 Indian fishermen remain in Sri Lankan custody.
Sri Lanka as a measure to deter the Indian fishermen from robbing Sri Lankan fishermen's livelihood releases the arrested fishermen promptly but retains their fishing equipment and trawlers.