New Delhi, Nov 19: Five fishermen who were awarded death penalty for allegedly smuggling drugs have been released by Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
TV reports say these five Tamil fishermen will now be handed over to Indian commission in Colombo.
The five fishermen - Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath and J Langlet - all hailing from Tamil Nadu, were arrested in 2011 for alleged drug trafficking and were sentenced to death by the Colombo High Court on October 30.
The court verdict had led to protests in parts of Tamil Nadu and violence broke out in and around Rameswaram as a large number of people staged protests against the Sri Lankan court's verdict.
India has been tracking the case since 2011 when the fishermen were arrested, said MEA Syed Akbaruddin. The Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka has been assisting the fishermen with legal aid.
"We feel the fishermen are not guilty. We will follow the legal process and will do our best to get them back to India," he said.