As many as nine out of 45 boats belonging to Tamil Nadu fishermen that were under the custody of the Sri Lankan Government for the past few years, were returned to Tamil Nadu on Sunday, the Press Trust of India reported.
“… 9 boats released in the first batch have reached Rameswaram.. they were towed by 9 boats..,” Benitto, one of the boat owners said.
The nine boats were part of 45 vessels that were identified by a nine-member team comprising officials and fishermen from the state, which had gone to the island nation for repatriating the boats.
The Sri Lankan Government had ordered the release of the boats recently.
The team led by Fisheries Additional Director, Varghese is camping in Jaffna.
A local fishermen association leader Anandanbavu said, “several vital parts in the boats were removed.. it would cost Rs 5 to 6 lakh for restoration.”
He urged the central and the state Governments to offer financial assistance to the fishermen.