As many as 560 fishermen from Gujarat are languishing in Pakistani jails after they were apprehended by authorities of that country in the Arabian sea, the Gujarat government told the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday.
Replying to a starred question in the House, state fisheries minister Raghavji Patel said, as on December 31, 2022, 560 fishermen from Gujarat were languishing in Pakistani jails.
Of these, 274 were apprehended by Pakistani authorities in the last two years alone. Of them (274), 193 were jailed in 2021 and 81 in 2022.
At the same time, the number of fishermen released from jails in Pakistan who returned to their homes in Gujarat in the last two years stood at 55, the minister said, adding 20 others were released in 2021 and 35 in 2022.
In reply to a separate question, the minister said 323 families of the jailed fishermen were provided with a daily allowance of Rs 300 in 2021 and 428 families in 2022.
Pakistan Marine Security Agency’s (PMSA) patrolling boats near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) nab Indian fishermen even after they mistakenly enter the territorial waters of the neighbouring country. Fishermen from the neighbouring country are also caught at regular intervals after entering the Indian waters.
Generally, fishermen from Pakistan enter the Indian side of the creek area off the Gujarat coast in search of a better catch.