Over 2,000 Indian pilgrims attended the annual feast of the St Anthony's Church in Kachchativu island that concluded yesterday.
Navy Spokesperson Commander Kosala Warnakulasuriya has said the Indian pilgrims were handed over to the Sri Lankan Navy by the Indian Coast Guard at the International Maritime Boundary Line.
The Sri Lanka Navy had escorted the Indian pilgrims to the Kachchativu Island in their own boats. They had been granted visa free entry to the Kachchativu Island.
Commander Warnakulasuriya has said the Indian Coast Guard had provided a list containing the names of the Indian pilgrims to avoid any over-stayers.
He has added that the Sri Lanka Navy has made arrangements to provide food and refreshments for the Indians during their pilgrimage to the Kachchativu Island.
The Navy has taken steps to provide the island with necessary facilities for the feast in addition to the security for the festival.
Fishermen of both Sri Lanka and South India participate in the feast of the St Anthony's Church in the uninhabited island.
The devotees from India continued to attend the festivities of the St. Anthony's Church which was established in 1905. The practice was interrupted during the three-decade long conflict during which the public was not allowed to visit the island due to security situation.