Sixteen Indian fishermen safely reached safely Tamil Nadu after a Sri Lankan court acquitted them of crossing the International Maritime Boundary on 3 March.

The fishermen were arrested by Sri Lankan navy after they accidentally crossed the international border in three mechanized boats and one country boat. The men from Tharuvaikulam village had gone to the sea from Nagapattinam on 27 February.

The fishermen returned along with their boats on Wednesday. The Lankan court had set the prisoners free on 11 March.

Reports said that Tamil Nadu Chief Minster J Jayalalithaa's letters to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had led to the fishermen's discharge.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka remains hopeful that India would support the US-backed resolution at United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva.

But the protests by students against Sri Lanka continued to gain momentum.

More than 40 law students from Dr Ambedkar Law University and Dr Ambedkar Government Law College in Chennai continued fasting demanding a Tamil Elam for Sri Lankan Tamils and seeking systematic probe into alleged war crimes against Colombo.

A student federation went on to denounce the US resolution describing the killings in Sri Lanka as brutal and planned. They voiced the Tamil Nadu government's proposal on slapping economic sanctions against the Island nation.

The student protests has spread to Coimbatore, Tirunelveli and other parts of the state.

(With inputs from PTI and ANI)