India hopeful fishermen captured by Sri Lanka will be released

July 24th, 2012 - 9:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 24 (IANS) India said Tuesday it has been pressing Sri Lanka for the early release of 23 its fishermen who were captured by Sri Lankan Navy on Saturday. The fishermen have been remanded till August 6.

“Yesterday, the Indian high commissioner had met Sri Lanka’s attorney general in Colombo,” Syed Akbaruddin, the external affairs ministry spokesperson, told reporters here. He added that the foreign office also discussed the issue with Sri Lanka’s high commission in New Delhi. Sri Lankan authorities have assured India about the early release of the fishermen. We have no reason to disbelieve them,” he said.

An Indian diplomat in Sri Lanka met the fishermen in Mannar Monday and reported they were in good health.

Sri Lankan Navy personnel allegedly chased some Indian boats and arrested 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen when they were operating near Katchatheevu in the Palk Straits on Saturday midnight.

The fishermen were produced in a Mannar court Monday and were remanded till August 6. The fishermen’s associations in Rameswaram have mounted pressure, calling for an indefinite strike till all the fishermen, including the five held on drug peddling charges on November 11, are released.

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