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“Efforts being taken to secure early release of fishermen”

[Hindu, Friday, 24 June 2011 06:36 No Comment]

The Indian High Commission is taking all-out efforts to secure the release of the 23 Tamil Nadu fishermen, who were apprehended on Tuesday night when they were fishing in the Sri Lankan waters.

The High Commission is in touch with the Sri Lankan Attorney General office so that the legal process could be expedited. Sri Lanka has said that once the legal process was expedited, the fishermen could be released.

This means that the fishermen have to be produced again before a magistrate who will order their release. For this, the Attorney General’s office has to communicate to the Magistrate that it had no objection to the release of the fishermen, who had illegally entered the Sri Lankan waters.

The Indian Consulate in Jaffna has stationed a senior officer in the rank of a Vice Consul in Vavuniya, to look after the needs of the fishermen, who are now in a jail there, and also to act quickly, in the event of a communication from the AG’s office to the Mannar Magistrate.

“We are hopeful of securing an early release,” Indian Consul General in Jaffna V.Mahalingam, told The Hindu over phone, when asked if a release was possible by Friday. The Indian Mission is positive that even if the orders are passed on Friday evening, it would still be possible to send the fishermen back on Saturday since their boats were intact in the Talaimannar fishing harbour. Once the legal process is completed, the fishermen would be escorted to the International Maritime Boundary Line by the Sri Lankan Navy, where they will be handed over to the Indian Coast Guard.

[Full Coverage]

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