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100 Indian Fishermen Return to Gujarat After Being Jailed in Pakistan for Over a Year

On April 5, Pakistan had announced that it would release 360 Indian prisoners, of which 355 were fishermen.

Vijaysinh Parmar | News18

Updated:April 12, 2019, 1:42 PM IST
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100 Indian Fishermen Return to Gujarat After Being Jailed in Pakistan for Over a Year
Representative image. (Photo Credit: Reuters)

Ahmedabad: Jailed in Pakistan for more than a year, 100 fishermen of Gujarat’s Veraval town returned to their homes on Friday. The joy on the faces of their kin was palpable.

On April 5, Pakistan had announced it would release 360 Indian prisoners, of which 355 were fishermen.

The first batch of 100 fishermen was released by Pakistan on April 8 and after completing verification, they boarded train from Amritsar on Wednesday. They reached Vadodara on Thursday evening from where they took a bus to their hometown Veraval town.

“I have spent around 17 months in jail in Pakistan and I feel extremely happy that finally I am home,’’ a fisherman said.

According to Jivan Jungi, Executive member of Pakistan-India Peoples’ Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFPD), second batch of 100 fishermen will be released by Pakistan on April 15. Third batch of 100 fishermen will be released on April 22 and last batch would be released on April 29.

“We are happy that Pakistan has released Indian fishermen as a goodwill gesture and it will relieve kin of fishermen back home who had been waiting for them since their arrest from International Maritime Boundary line (IMBL)," Jungi told said.

Meanwhile, process is underway to bring back the mortal remains of a Gujarati fisherman, who had died in Pakistan jail on March 4. Bhikhabhai Bambhaniya had passed away after being unwell. Bhikhabhai, along with other fishermen, had ventured into the Arabian Sea and was captured by Pakistan Marine Security Agency on November 15, 2017, while fishing near international maritime borders.

With no clear demarcation of the maritime border, India and Pakistan frequently arrest fishermen who venture into the neighboring country’s waters.

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| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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