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Gujarat: Fishermen attacked, robbed of their catch

Police said that the complainant and his sailors had to be hospitalised due to the injuries they sustained in the assault.

Fishermen of Shiyal Bet were allegedly attacked and robbed of their catch and threatened by a group of fishermen from Daman while the victims were fishing off Jafrabad coast a week ago, police said on Thursday. Navi Bandar marine in Porbandar police lodged an FIR on Wednesday evening after receiving a complaint posted by one Sharman Shiyal of Shiyal Bet.

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In the complaint, Shiyal alleged that seven fishing boats bearing registration numbers of Daman intercepted his boat while he was fishing around 63 nautical miles off Jafrabad on the morning of December 8. The captain and sailors of the seven boats jumped on the deck of Shiyal’s fishing boat and beat him and and his fellow-fishermen with a bamboo stick. The accused also damaged Shiyal’s three fishing nets worth Rs 3 lakh and other equipment like wireless set and GPS device.

“The complaint also states that the accused threw in sea Shiyal’s one-chhakado-load of catch and threatened them with dire consequences if they ever returned in the same waters for fishing,” Navi Bandar police sub-inspector Pravinkumar Makwana told The Indian Express on Thursday.

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Police said that the complainant and his sailors had to be hospitalised due to the injuries they sustained in the assault.

“The victims had contacted us on phone from their hospital bed after they returned to the shore. After their complaint was delivered to our police station via post, we lodged the FIR and have booked sailors and captains of seven Daman-registered fishing boats for dacoity, extortion, voluntarily causing hurt and criminal intimidation,” the PSI further said.

Makwana added that the incident could be one of disputes over method of fishing at sea. “Recently, there have been complaints of fishermen from Daman and Okha resorting to line-fishing, a method in which they arrange seven to eight boats in a linear formation and cover large swathes of water for better catch. But fishermen from other ports like Jafrabad and Porbandar have been protesting against such method. The December 8 incident could also be due the perception of Daman fishermen that certain waters in the gulf belongs to them only,” he added.

Makwana said that the accused are suspected to have looted Shiyal’s catch of lobsters, paplet and Bombay Duck species of fish. Navi Bandar marine police station was recently granted power to probe offences committed in exclusive economic zone of India which starts from 12 nautical miles off coast and spreads till 200 nautical miles seaward.

First published on: 16-12-2016 at 01:59:18 am
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