112 Indian fishermen remanded to judicial custody in Sri Lanka

Posted By: Pti
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Colombo, Feb 16 (PTI) The 112 Indian fishermen,accused of doing "illegal" fishing in Sri Lankan waters, weretoday remanded to judicial custody until the end of this monthby a local court in Jaffna.

The fishermen, who were produced before a Point PedroMagistrate court in Jaffna, were remanded to judicial custodyuntil February 28.

The remand order came contrary to expectations thatthe fishermen would be released on bail.

Earlier, Sri Lanka''s Deputy minister of ExternalAffairs Neomal Perera told PTI "this is a bailable offence."

The fishermen were apprehended along with their boatsand handed over to the Point Pedro police yesterday by a groupof local fishermen, who claim they strayed into the country''swaters and were doing "illegal" fishing.

Diplomatic efforts were on since then to secure therelease of the fishermen.

The Indian high commission officials had discussionswith the external affairs ministry yesterday and Indianconsulate in Jaffna peninsula is in touch with the fishermen.

India last month accused the Sri Lankan Navy ofkilling at least two Indian fishermen.

The incident triggered a flurry of diplomatic activitybetween the two south Asian neighbours following which IndianForeign Secretary Nirupama Rao visited Colombo to seekassurances to prevent such incidents in future.

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