Weeks after Sri Lanka arrested 126 Indian fishermen for illegally entering its waters, the country's courts set them free and authorities made plans to send them home. The men, all of whom come from different parts of Tamil Nadu, have been put up in lodges before they can be repatriated, as weather conditions are currently unsuitable, officials said. Seven fishermen from Tuticorin continued to be held in prison as no more accommodation was available for them, The Hindu reported.
The Sri Lankan Navy had arrested the fishermen between September 22 and November 1 and detained their trawlers. While the men have been set free, the cases regarding the confiscation of their boats have been adjourned. The captain of the Indian Coast Guard, who is coordinating with Sri Lanka, confirmed that they were waiting till the waters were safe to bring the fishermen back. The issue of fishermen from either country straying into each other’s waters has long dogged the two nations.