Lakan Navy hands over 12 Indian fishermen to ICG

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Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, Jan 30 (UNI) The Sri Lankan Navy today handed over the 12 Indian fishermen arrested by them for trespassing into Lankan water recently to the Indian Coast Guard (ICG).

Informing this to newspersons at the Fifth Island off Mandapam coast near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), Commanding Officer of the ICG Station, Mandapam in Ramanathapuram district Commandant K Janardhanan said the Sri Lankan naval personnel had apprehended 12 Indian fishermen and seized three mechanised fishing boats for trespassing into Lankan waters.

The Sri Lankan government had released all the 12 detained fishermen following initiative taken by the Indian Government, he said.

In a swift operation, the ICG Station, Mandapam diverted an ICG Ship 'Kittur Chennamma' on security patrol to Point Calimere near the IMBL this morning for the much awaited repatriation.

The Commanding Officer of the ICG ship 'Kittur Chennamma' Commander Manjoj Bhatia received the Indian fishermen, this afternoon at Point Calimere from the Sri Lankan navy and they were on their way to Mandapam coast.

The fishermen escorted by the ICG ship were expected to arrive at Mandapam coast tonight, he added.

Meanwhile, the Rameswaram fishermen, who were on an indefinite strike from January 26, had withdrawn their stir today in view of the release of Indian fishermen by the Sri Lankan Government.

Talking to UNI here, S Velpandiyan, Assistant Director (Marine), Fisheries Department, Tamil Nadu Government, said the fishermen would resume fishing operations from February two.

UNI GSM GL KP2125

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