The 49 Indian fishermen, who were arrested by the Iranian coast guard for crossing the international borders, reached Chennai on Thursday.
Father A Churchill told ANI that at least 44 fishermen from Tamil Nadu and five from Gujarat, who were working for a Dubai fishing company, were arrested on December 1, 2015. Five fishermen from Dubai were also arrested.
“For last 90 days these fishermen were detained in their fishing boats in a place called Dees in the sea at Iran,” Father Churchill said.
“We have been taking a lot of initiatives for their rescue and release. We approached the government of Tamil Nadu and also the government of India and with the help of both the governments these 54 fishermen have been released,” he added.
A fisherman, who was released, thanked both the central and the state governments for their efforts.
“We were arrested and kept in jail for months. Now that we have been released, we feel happy about this. We thank both the Centre and the state government for their efforts to get us out,” Jegan Joseph told reporters.