The Coast Guard (ICG) has secured the release of 72 Indian fishermen from the custody of Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA), which had held them in the Arabian sea off Jakhau coast since Friday.
The PMSA personnel had seized 14 Indian fishing boats off Jakhau coast, with 85 fishermen on board, on April 27, and detained them mid-sea.
“ICG Samrat, which was at the International maritime boundary line on a routine patrol, established contact with the Pakistani ship, and after persistent conferencing, 72 out of the 85 fishermen and one boat were released,” an ICG statement said.
“The Indian fishing trawlers had strayed inside the Pakistani waters,” it said.
Manish Lodhari, secretary, National Fish Worker Forum (NFWF), said that most of the released fishermen hailed from Una taluka in Junagadh district.
“13 fishermen and 13 boats are still to be freed,” he said. Overall, more than 450 fishermen from Gujarat were languishing in the Pakistani jails, he added.