Sri Lanka frees 49 Indian fishermen

Chennai, July 3 (IANS) Forty-nine Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan navy June 5 have been released and will return home in a couple of days, the Tamil Nadu government said Wednesday.

Tamil Nadu officials took up their issue with the Indian high commission in Colombo on the orders of Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, an official statement said.

Sri Lankan authorities Tuesday released 24 fishermen and the others Wednesday.

The Sri Lankan navy routinely arrests Indian fishermen, dominantly from Tamil Nadu, on charges of intruding into Sri Lankan waters.

There have also been clashes between Sri Lankan Tamil and Tamil Nadu fishermen in the sea that divides the two countries.

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