Rameswaram: Eighteen of 38 fishermen from Tamil Nadu, arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy between 21 and 26 March, were released by the island nation on Tuesday and will join Indian authorities this afternoon, officials said.

Sri Lankan naval personnel will send the fishermen to the Indian Coast Guard at the International Maritime Boundary Line at 12 noon, ‘Q’ branch Inspector Kennedy and Assistant Director (Fisheries) Kulangainathan said.

The fishermen would later proceed to Karaikal, Puducherry, and reach there by around 4pm, they said.

On 21 March, 10 fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy while fishing near Katchatheevu on charges of crossing the IMBL.

The following day, 16 more fishermen from Nagapattinam and Rameswaram districts were arrested in two separate incidents on the same charge.

On 26 March, 12 fishermen from Pudukottai district were arrested by Sri Lankan navy for allegedly fishing in the island nation’s territorial waters.

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