Pakistan apprehends 55 fishermen, 10 boats off Gujarat coast


Ahmedabad, March 30: as many as 55 Indian fishermen were apprehended and their 10 boats seized by Pakistan authorities near international maritime border line (IMBL) off Kutch coast in Gujarat Wednesday morning, according to Porbandar-based National Fishworkers’ Forum.

The fishermen, all belonging to Okha in Devbhoomi Dwarka district of Gujarat, were apprehended by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) near IMBL, National Fishworkers’ Forum secretary Manish Lodhari claimed.

“Thirteen fishing boats carrying fishermen from Okha in coastal Gujarat were out in the sea for fishing when the PMSA apprehended ten boats carrying around 55 fishermen.

Three boats managed to return today and the fishermen informed us about the incident,” Lodhari said.

This is the third incident in less than two months of fishermen being apprehended by Pakistani authorities.

Early this month, the PMSA had apprehended 18 fishermen with three boats off Gujarat coast. On February 7, the agency apprehended 12 fishermen and seized two boats.

Wednesday’s incident comes over a month after Pakistan released 172 Indian fishermen lodged in Karachi jail for allegedly violating the IMBL in two batches.

The number of Indian fishermen lodged in Pakistan jails has gone up to 450, Lodhari said.

“Recently, we learnt that 18 fishermen have been behind bars in the Karachi jail since last three years, and wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask Pakistan to release them along with others lodged there. The government responded saying that they are working in that direction,” he said.

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