Tamil Nadu, Sri Lanka each release 52 fishermen

Chennai, Jan 13: Tamil Nadu Monday released 52 Sri Lankan fishermen lodged in jails in the state, following the release of a similar number of Indian fishermen by Colombo, the state government said.

In a statement issued here, the Tamil Nadu government said it will take steps to release Sri Lankan fishermen based on the number of Indian fishermen the island nation releases.

The state government said Sri Lanka released the Indian fishermen after obtaining necessary court orders.

The steps to release the Sri Lankan fishermen were taken Jan 11 following a directive of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa.

The state government earlier said 275 Indian fishermen are lodged in Sri Lanka’s jails while 179 Sri Lankan fishermen are in various prisons in Tamil Nadu.

Jayalalithaa said steps were being taken to release Sri Lankan fishermen so that talks between the fishing community of the two countries can take place in a cordial atmosphere here Jan 20.