Sri Lanka releases Five Indian Fishermen awarded Death

Colombo, Nov 19: In a big relief to five Indian fishermen, who were convicted of drug smuggling and sentenced to death by Colombo High court, the Sri Lanka government on Wednesday released them following pressure from Indian embassy and government.

The move came days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi intervened into the matter and Sri Lanka President Mahinda Rajapaksa had assured him that he was ready to pardon the five Indian fishermen.

The BJP claimed it an achievement of the Centre, giving a big credit to PM Modi in the release of the fishermen and bring back cheers on the faces of the victims' kins in Tamil Nadu.

The Colombo High Court had on October 30 had sentenced the five fishermen from Tamil Nadu - P Emerson, P Augustus, R Wilson, K Prasath, and J Lanklet - to death on charges of smuggling 995 grams of heroin. They were arrested by the Sri Lankan Navy for heroin trafficking in 2011.

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