AHMEDABAD: Atleast one fisherman from Gujarat was injured in firing by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) which also captured 24 fishermen and seized four of their boats near the International Maritime Boundary Line off Gujarat coast.
However, the MSA later released the injured fisherman, identified as Dhanji Bamaniya, on humanitarian grounds along with five others who sailed back to Jakhau coast tonight. According to National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) Secretary Manish Lodhari, Bamaniya, a resident of Union Territory of Diu, was hit in his arm in firing that took place in the afternoon.
"Showing some mercy on the injured fisherman, the Pakistan MSA allowed him to sail back to Gujarat with five other fishermen who were on board 'Surya Kiran' boat. Bamaniya and others ventured into the sea on October 7 from Mangrol," he said.
The incident occurred as the MSA fired some rounds on their boat as "warning", which resulted in injuries to Bamaniya. "He was hit on his arm. Luckily, he is out of danger and admitted to a hospital in Bhuj," Lodhari said. The released fishermen took help of Coast Guard to return to Jakhau. "After these six fishermen on one boat were allowed to go, they contacted Coast Guard for help. A Coast Guard boat went into sea and guided their boat safely to the coast," said Lodhari.
However, 24 fishermen are still in captivity of MSA and they were taken to Karachi during afternoon. "Though one boat and 6 fishermen were allowed to go, the MSA has captured 24 of our fishermen and seized four of their boats and took them to Karachi port. The fishermen told us that the MSA personnel fired on Bamaniya's boat as a warning," he said.
The four boats captured by MSA are: 'Maheshwari-2', 'Shiv Shakti-5', Matrubhoomi-2' and Raj Laxmi-3' and each of them was carrying six fishermen and sailing from Mangrol a week back. This is the second such incident of firing on Gujarat fishermen within one month. Earlier on September 18, one fisherman from Okha port was killed in firing near IMBL.