A Sri Lankan court Wednesday ordered to release 19 Indian fishermen arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy.
According to Indian media reports the Oorkavalthurai Magistrate Court had ordered the release of the fishermen, who were arrested last month, after completing their remand period.
The fishermen set to sea from Jagadapattinam in Pudukottai district of Tamil Nadu were arrested in September 2013 for poaching in Sri Lankan waters near the Delft islands off Jaffna.
The released fishermen have been handed over to the Indian Consulate General in Jaffna, the reports said.
However, the court has not released their trawlers confiscated by Navy.
Sri Lanka recently changed its policy on the Indian fishermen invading country's territorial waters. Instead of the earlier method of 'catch and release' now the poaching fishermen will be detained and produced in court. The fishermen will be released after their remand period and their boats will be confiscated.