At least 73 Indian fishermen expected to be set free

srilankanfishermanreuters_650x400_51453197122At least 73 Indian fishermen held by Sri Lanka for allegedly fishing in their waters will be released, Fisheries Ministry officials said, according to the Press Trust of India.

The ministry has made the necessary recommendations for the release of the fishermen following interventions by the Indian High Commission here, officials said without indicating when they would be freed.

They had been held for allegedly poaching in violation of the Sri Lankan side of International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between July 6-21.

Fisheries minister Mahinda Amarasweera had earlier said that none of the Indian boats would be released despite the release of the fishermen.

Sri Lanka has also denied reports that it would allow restricted fishing in the Sri Lankan waters as part of the measures to counter bottom trawling by the Indians.

Amaraweera said any decision in this connection would be reached only after consulting the local fisher community who are aggrieved by the constant poaching by Indians in Sri Lankan waters. (Colombo Gazette)