AHMEDABAD: Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) has apprehended 18 Indian fishermen and seized their three boats off the Gujarat coast, an association said today.
These fishermen were captured by the PMSA near the International Maritime Border Line (IMBL) yesterday, Secretary of Porbandar-based National Fishworkers Forum Forum (NFF) Manish Lodhari told PTI over phone.
"We came to know about the incident from other fishermen who returned to the coast. We were told that 18 fishermen on three fishing boats were apprehended by the Pakistani agency near Jakhau coast and taken to Karachi," he said.
The arrests were made on a day when Pakistani authorities announced they will release 87 Indian fishermen, most of them from Gujarat, who according to PMSA, were captured for allegedly violating its territorial waters.
The announcement was made yesterday and the released fishermen will return home tomorrow after the issuance of travel documents by the Indian High Commission in Islamabad.
This is the second incident in last one month when PMSA has captured Indian fishermen off the Gujarat coast. On February 7, the agency had apprehended 12 fishermen and seized two boats.
Recently, Lodhari sent a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to initiate efforts to bring back jailed Indian fishermen and their boats from Pakistan.
According to Lodhari, who is also President of Porbandar Fishermen Boat Association, at present there are around 440 Indian fishermen, mostly from Gujarat, and about 860 boats in the custody of Pakistan.
In his letter, Lodhari had claimed that out of the 860 boats, 604 belonged to fishermen from Porbandar, around 400 km from here.