Tamil fishermen held in Andhra Pradesh freed

August 27th, 2008 - 11:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 27 (IANS) All 144 Tamil Nadu fishermen and their 24 mechanised crafts held for ransom for over 48 hours in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh were released Wednesday, a boat owners’ association said here.”We are held to ransom by the Sri Lankan Navy in the south and now Andhra fishermen in the north are doing the same thing for different reasons. The state and central governments are helpless in both places,” V Kapilan, an office-bearer of the boat owners’ association who negotiated the deal, told IANS.

A total amount of Rs.7,40,000 was paid in two instalments as compensation for damaged nets and for building a Hindu temple in Nellore district where the fishermen and boats were detained, Kapilan added.

The released fishermen have been allowed to continue with their fishing for the rest of the week and have been warned not to venture too close to the shore, said sources from a voluntary organisation from Kasimedu on the northern outskirts of here.

The flotilla from Tamil Nadu would return home during the weekend, the sources added.

Tamil Nadu fishermen fished close to the Andhra Pradesh coast due to the availability large shoals of fish that proved counterproductive twice within a span of three months.

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