Pakistan has reportedly arrested 10 Indian fishermen off Jakhau coast in Kutch and impounded two boats, a fishermen forum said Wednesday. The development came at a time when Pakistan was in the process of sending back 22 Indian trawlers.
“The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency seized fishing trawlers Shana and Devnandan Tuesday morning near the notional International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) at Arabian Sea,” said Manish Lodhari, general secretary of the Gujarat chapter of National Fishworkers Forum. “The two boats were seized and 10 fishermen on board were detained. The seized boats belong to Porbandar,” Lodhari told The Indian Express.
With this, the number of Indian fishermen arrested by the PMSA has gone up to around 500 and the figure of seized trawlers has touched around 80, Lodhari said. However, state fisheries department officers said they were in the process of verifying the incident. “So far, we don’t have any written communication from owners of the boats, or the association. Lodhari has said that information will be made available by Thursday morning. Therefore, we are in the process of verifying the news,”said Rakesh Bajpai, assistant director of fisheries at Porbandar. “This is a blow to the fishermen as the fishing season is almost drawing to a close. The release of 22 Indian trawlers by Pakistan is also getting delayed as the matter is stuck up at the high-level. Our information is that Pakistan has demanded repatriation of 100 fishing boats that are in the custody of India,” Lodhari said.