Five Indian fishermen, taken into custody by Sri Lankan naval personnel five days back, are likely to be released on December 5 after being questioned for alleged possession of drugs, fisheries department officials in Rameswaram said.
The fishermen had been ordered to be lodged in prison for two days and would be produced before a Judicial Magistrate at Jaffna on Dec 5, the officials and M Arulanandham,President of the Association of Innocent fishermen said.
Their arrest had led to angry protests in Rameswaram, with fishermen not putting out to sea for the past five days, demanding the release of the five fishrmen and for Lankan naval officials to drop drug smuggling charges slapped against their comrades.
On Friday officials said talks were on with Sri Lankan officials to secure the release of the five fishermen.
On Dec 1, the fishermen had decided to boycott fishing indefenitely after talks with the Sri Lankan Deputy High Commissioner to secure the release of the fishermen failed.