Nov 28, Colombo: Eighteen fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy on last month, returned home on Saturday, New Indian Express reported.
Sri Lanka Navy arrested 23 Indian fishermen from Nagapattinam and Mayiladuthurai districts on October 13 for allegedly crossing the International Maritime Boundary Line and straying into Sri Lankan waters.
The arrested were taken to the Karainagar Fishing Harbor and remanded in judicial custody in Jaffna till November 14 and were released on November 15.
However, when the Indian Consulate was preparing to bring them back to India, five of them tested positive for Covid-19, the report said.
Upon completion of the judicial formalities, 18 of the arrested fishermen were repatriated, and they arrived in Chennai by flight on Saturday morning, Fisheries Department sources said.
The other five fishermen who tested positive for COVID-19, were expected to be repatriated after their quarantine ends in a week.
The court had issued warnings against trespassing into Sri Lankan waters. The two trawler boats in which the fishermen allegedly ventured were attached by the authorities.