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India, Sri Lanka exchange jailed fishermen

Posted on Jan 16 2014 | IANS

Chennai, Jan 16 : India and Sri Lanka Thursday exchanged jailed fishermen on the narrow sea dividing the two countries, the Indian Coast Guard said.

A Coast Guard ship, Vishwast, ferried 52 Sri Lankan fishermen to the international maritime boundary line where three Sri Lankan ships came 51 Indian fishermen.

The Coast Guard said one Indian fishermen from Karaikal in Tamil Nadu was not sent home as he was in a hospital in Jaffna.

The Coast Guard said the concurrent repatriation of 51 Indian and 52 Sri Lankan fishermen was completed at about 3 p.m.

The 51 Indians would be handed over to the fisheries authority in Karaikal.

The release of the fishermen comes ahead of the Jan 20 talks between the fishing communities of the two countries here.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa announced Jan 11 that her government had taken steps to release 275 Indian fishermen lodged in Sri Lankan jails.

She said the government would also take steps to release 179 Sri Lankan fishermen lodged in jails in Tamil Nadu.

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