Chennai, Feb 19 (IANS) All the 136 Indian fishermen released by Sri Lanka reached Tamil Nadu’s Nagapattinam district in 25 boats to a rousing reception Saturday.
The relatives of the freed fishermen shed joyous tears while receiving them.
The fishermen were detained by the Sri Lankan Navy early this week for straying into their waters and were released by a Jaffna court Friday.
They were escorted by Sri Lankan Navy till the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) from where the Indian Coast Guard escorted them to the district.
The mass scale arrest of Indian fishermen by Sri Lanka has created a major uproar in the country and India has conveyed its deep concern to the island nation.
The fishermen hailing from Nagapattinam and Pudukottai districts who had gone fishing did not return home and on enquiry it was realised they were under detention in Sri Lanka.
With assembly elections around the corner, the ruling DMK and opposition parties held statewide protests demanding freeing of the Indian fishermen.
Last month, two Indian fishermen were killed by the Sri Lankan Navy forcing India to send Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao to convey India’s concern and seek the island nation’s assurance that such attacks do not recur.