A Sri Lankan court on Thursday released six Rameswaram fishermen who were arrested on charges of poaching in the Island nation’s territorial waters. The court released the fishermen on conditional bail stating that they should not return to fish in the country’s waters failing which they would be locked up for a period of two years.

The fishermen were arrested by the Sri Lankan navy on July 20. They were lodged in a Vavuniya prison. Chief minister M K Stalin had appealed for the intervention of external affairs minister S Jaishankar to secure their release. On Thursday, the Mannar court heard the case. Justice Niranjani Muralidharan ordered the release of the fishermen.

Boat owner Arockiaraj of Thangachimadam was ordered to be present in Mannar court with all documents of the boat on September 29 for further hearing. Fisheries department sources in Chennai said the released fishermen were likely to return to India next week.