After India Saves Pak Marines, Islamabad Frees 63 Fishermen


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Rajkot: With the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) releasing two rescued Pakistani marines on Tuesday after an accident on the Indian side of the international maritime boundary line (IMBL), Pakistan Marine Security Agency (PMSA) released 63 fishermen with their seven boats, reciprocating the gesture of goodwill.

PMSA released the fishermen after ICG and Navy handed over two rescued Pakistani commandos and bodies of three others who drowned when their boat collided with one of the Indian fishing boats, ‘Mahenoor’, off Jakhau coast on Sunday night.

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ICG has also issued an alert to Gujarat marine police regarding the Pakistani marine who went missing. The PMSA boat, with six on board, had capsized, but the Indian sailors rescued two commandos while ICG ship ‘Arinjay’ recovered bodies of three others who had drowned. The accident happened around 10 nautical miles on the Indian side of IMBL. “As a goodwill gesture, PMSA has released 10 boats with their 63 fishermen.

All boats are from Mangrol of Junagadh district and Okha. We are at Porbandar coast to receive the fishermen,” said Manish Lodhari, secretary, National Fish Workers Forum (NFF).
Sources said a fleet of PMSA boats had reportedly rushed into Indian waters, when seven Indian boats were busy fishing about 70 nautical miles from Jhakhau coast.”PMSA boats rounded up seven Indian fishing boats namely Uma Shakti, Parshu Ram, Trishul, Savan, Ashirvad, Kishan Kanahiya, Baba Jalluddin and Mahenoor,” said a source.

“While escorting them to Karachi coast, one of the Indian boats broke down resulting in a collision with one of the small fast boats of PMSA. The PMSA boat with six Pak marine commandos capsized,” the source said.
Sources added that the Indian fishing boat ‘Mahenoor’, which had broken down, was then let off by the PMSA commandos for being towed by another boat, ‘Uma Shakti’ to Jakhau coast, with just one crew member.

The PMSA is infamous for sailing into Indian waters and kidnapping Indian fishermen with their boats. “On April 4 this month, PMSA had kidnapped 65 Indian fishermen with their vessels off Gujarat coast,” the source said.