society

4 Indian fishermen released from jail to go home this week

Five fishermen were arrested after trespassing into UAE waters from Qatar

20:14 October 14, 2017

Abu Dhabi: Four Indian fishermen, who were released from an Abu Dhabi jail, will fly back home this week, a senior Indian official told Gulf News on Saturday.

The four men from South Indian state of Tamil Nadu were officially released from the prison last week after the Indian Embassy paid the fines imposed on them by a court [for allegedly trespassing into the UAE waters from Qatar], said Dinesh Kumar, the first secretary and counsellor, community affairs, at the embassy.

“As they don’t have passports with them, we will issue emergency certificates to them. We will also arrange flight tickets. After completing the remaining legal formalities, the UAE authorities will deport them,” Kumar explained.

He said they are expected to fly home on Wednesday or Thursday.

The embassy is following up the case of the fifth man among the group who is still in prison. “We will check the latest status of his case with the judicial authorities and will do the required official formalities from our part to expedite his release,” Kumar said.

Abu Dhabi authorities were not immediately available for comments.

According to a press release issued by an Indian minister, the five fishermen from Kanyakumari district were arrested by Abu Dhabi Coast Guard on August 26 for allegedly intruding into the UAE’s territorial waters during a fishing trip from Qatar. An Abu Dhabi court sentenced them to one-month imprisonment and a fine, said Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Finance and Shipping.

Even after completing the one-month jail term, they remained in prison for not being able to pay the fine. The minister said the families of the men sought his help and he took it up with India’s external affairs minister, Sushma Swaraj. As directed by her, the Indian Embassy in Abu Dhabi took the necessary action for their release, he said.

The men were identified as Y. Jerald Regan, 31; his brother Y. Karol Jahin, 26; A. John Prabhahar, 40; G. Regan GEO Gladwin, 35; and S. Jose Stalin, 32. Jerald Regan is still in jail.