The Fishermen who were recently imposed death penalty by the Sri Lankan Court reached Chennai after their release by the Government of Sri Lanka. They were alleged to have committed drug trafficking and now they are freed by Mahinda Rajapaksha, President of Sri Lanka with his pardoning power. The five fishermen arrived at Chennai today morning at 1.05 am by Air India flight. These men belonged to Rameswaram who were set free yesterday after completing the official formalities. Before going back home, the fishermen are to visit the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister O Paneerselvam today itself. Even though the family members of the fishermen reached Tiruchirapalli airport to receive them, they returned back as the officials informed them that they will be arriving in Delhi airport. The fishermen were received by the State ministers of Tamil Nadu, union minister of state, Pon Radhakrishnan, BJP leader and Tamilisai Soundararajan, State BJP President.
On November 2011, the five fishermen were arrested and the High Court of Colombo imposed death penalty on 30th October. Many protests were raised in different part of Tamil Nadu especially in Rameswaram and the political parties were pressurized to take measures for their release. The matter was discussed with the Central Government and the Government spend over 20 lakhs to file appeal before the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka. As the disposal of the appeal would take long time, the appeals were withdrawn by India. The hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi had discussion with the Sri Lankan President as a result of which they were released. The fishermen expressed their sincere gratitude to Narendra Modi for the endeavors taken by him for their release.
The Sri Lankan Minister Senthil Thondaman told that it is not granting of pardon rather it is the reduction of punishment. A few days ago, the Sri Lankan President assured that he will release the fishermen using the pardoning power and the matter was confirmed by the High Commission officials of India in Colombo. M Karunanidhi, DMK Chief and T K S Elangovan, DMK leader appreciated the Government for their efforts to release the fishermen.