On Saturday afternoon, 96 Indian and nine Sri Lankan fishermen were repatriated to their respective countries at the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) between Indian and Sri Lanka maritime agencies. This goodwill measure was undertaken after a mutual agreement between both the countries. The exchange of fishermen happened between the Indian Coast Guard ships and Sri Lankan Naval ships. The nine Sri Lankan fishermen were arrested by maritime security agencies on February 24 this year on charges of poaching in Indian waters. Similarly, 96 Indian fishermen were arrested after they had crossed the IMBL and ventured into the Sri Lankan waters. The Indian fishermen received by the Coast Guard were brought to Karaikal in Puducherry on Saturday evening. All the Indian fishermen belong to Tamil Nadu – Nagapattinam (8), Pudukkottai (19), Ramanathapuram (49) and Tuticorin (20) districts. “After due investigation and documentation, the fishermen were handed over to fisheries department as per information received from Commandant, Coast Guard Station Karaikal, read a Coast Guard statement.

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