NEW DELHI: An Indian fisherman was on Friday killed in firing on an Indian boat by a Pakistani ship in international waters off the Gujarat coast. Though initially it was not clear whether the ship that fired on the fishing boat was from Pakistan, later, maritime surveillance agencies established that the boat from Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) had fired on the Indian boat. The deceased has been identified as Iqbal, who belonged to Porbandar in Gujarat. The firing took place near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
The Coast Guard, which despatched one of its ships to the spot, did not confirm the alleged involvement of the Pakistan MSA, and said a probe was underway and it would be premature to draw any conclusion now. The Coast Guard, in its official statement said that at 9.30 am, its ship Vijit intercepted a VHF call seeking Indian Coast Guard (IC) assistance for an Indian fishing boat being fired upon by an unidentified boat 10 nautical miles across the notional IMBL. “Simultaneously, the Coast Guard station in Okha received information from the owner of the fishing boat Premraj that the boat was fired upon whilst fishing along the notional International Maritime Boundary Line,” it added.
It further said that on receipt of information, two Indian Coast Guard Ships (ICGS) — Vijit and MeeraBen — on patrol were immediately diverted to the site of the incident for assistance.
“In addition, a Coast Guard Dornier aircraft was also launched from Porbandar to undertake aerial surveillance of the area along the notional IMBL. It was ascertained that the incident resulted in the death of fisherman Iqbal (40), who succumbed to bullet injury (on his right collar bone) sustained during the firing,” the statement said.