Remand for Indian fishermen extended
[TamilNet, Friday, 21 March 2003, 00:05 GMT]
The Mannar district judge, Mr. M. A. Mohideen, ordered Thursday that the remand for twenty-six Indian fishermen, who were arrested by local fishermen and handed over to the police on March 5 for trespassing into Sri Lankan waters, be extended until April 3, sources said.
Though the fishermen were produced in court Thursday, legal sources said that the judge ordered their extended remand, saying that the Attorney General has not yet submitted his instructions on the case.
Meanwhile, the judge refused permission to release the 31 boats being held by the Sri Lankan officials to some representatives of a fishermen’s union in India on behalf of the Indian owners of the boats. The representatives, Mr. Juwani Fernando Arulanantham and Mr. Anton Fentinklaus from the union, which seeks the release of fishermen and operates from Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, were present at the court Thursday. They sought the release of the boats, but the judge said that the owners of the boats should themselves appear in court to seek the release of their boats.
The boats were captured at various times when the fishermen trespassed into Sri Lankan waters, by the Sri Lankan Navy as well as the local fishermen, and are being kept at Pallimunai, Kalapadu and Katpiddy, sources said.