Thiruvananthapuram | The 19 Indian fishermen, detained off the coast of British island Diego Garcia since May 27 for allegedly trespassing into its territorial waters, were released, Kerala government said here Monday.
Of the 19 fishermen detained in the island, 12 were from Kanyakumari district, six from Kerala and one from Assam. The Keralite fishermen hailed from coastal hamlets of Poovar and Poonthura near here. The state government had been in constant touch with the External Affairs Ministry and the British authorities in this regard.
The released fishermen are expected to reach Kochi next week, Kerala Fisheries Minister J Mercykutty Amma said in a release. Though a trawling ban is existed in the state, relaxation would be given to the two mechanised boats, in which the fishermen were arriving, to enter the state coasts, the minister added.