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    Indian Fishermen Released by Sri Lankan Navy


    by NTDTelevision

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    The Sri Lankan Navy has released 136 arrested Indian fishermen. The fishermen who say they were badly treated by the Sri Lankans were returned to India on Saturday.

    The Indian Coast Guard is bringing home 136 fishermen after they were released by the Sri Lankan Navy.

    Having bowed to Indian pressure, a Sri Lankan court released the fishermen to return to India's southern port in Tamil Nadu in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

    One of the fishermen says he was treated badly by the Sri Lankan navy.

    [Stephen, Released Fisherman]:
    "They took us in their ship and beat us. After that they handed us to their police, who then took us to court. We were taken from there and sent to jail."

    The fishermen say their belongings were also taken.

    [Jayarathinam, Released Fisherman]:
    "All our belongings, like cell phones, fishing rods and so on, were taken away by them."

    The arrest of the fishermen became a major political issue, with federal and state governments having to face many protests.

    India shares an expansive oceanic border with Sri Lanka without any clear demarcation. Fishermen on both sides ignore rules while netting their catch.

    Consequently, fishermen from both the countries frequently stray into each other territory and end up spending years in their jails.

    Harassment of Indian fishermen by Sri Lankan authorities has been a longstanding issue between the two countries.