Fifteen fishermen from Uttara Kannada district have been released by Iranian authorities after they had illegally entered their country five months ago, according to a top district official.
“We are happy that fifteen fishermen from Uttara Kannada were released on Tuesday. Karnataka Chief Minister and the district administration had written to the Union government. Thereafter, a lot of effort has transpired,” Uttara Kannada Deputy Commissioner S S Nakul told PTI over phone.
All the fishermen are enroute to UAE on their boats and later, based on their convenience, they would return to India, Nakul said.
Initially, the boat owners made efforts to get the fishermen released, but it was only after the intervention of the Indian Foreign Affairs Ministry that the Iranian government agreed to release them.
The fishermen were detained since July 27 by the Iranian government after they had illegally entered Kish island in Iran, he said.
They were working on three boats owned by a UAE businessman, he added.
Soon after fifteen Indian fishermen were detained along with three other fishermen from Dubai, they had posted a video through WhatsApp to Karwar district administration, Nakul said.
The district administration then wrote a letter to the Ministry of External Affairs and requested Sushma Swaraj to take up the matter, he said.
Nakul said the release of the fishermen was delayed because one of the three Dubai-based fishermen in the Iranian authorities detention escaped from the boat.
“As a punishment, the Iranian authorities, sent the other two Dubai-based fishermen to jail and Indian fishermen were detained in the boats,” he said.