New Delhi: A Sri Lankan court has freed 26 Indian fishermen arrested by the Lankan navy for allegedly fishing in that country's waters, officials here said on Wednesday. However, the court ordered for the 'nationalisation' of the four mechanised boats and other equipment siezed during the arrest of the fishermen, the officials said.
A total of 22 fishermen hailing from here and four from Puthukottai, arrested last month, were ordered to be released by the court. The court also cautioned the fishermen against entering the country's waters (illegally) in the future and warned of two years' imprisonment, if apprehended.
Local fishermen associations opposed the detention of the boats and equipment, saying they were the sole means of livelihood for the persons concerned.