A total of 345 fishermen from Gujarat are in Pakistani jails, as of December 31, 2020, the state Assembly was told on Thursday.
Replying to a question from Congress member Shailesh Parmar, Fisheries and Tourism Minister Jawahar Chavda said that in 2019, a total of 85 fishermen were captured and in 2020, another 163 fishermen.
A total of 97 fishermen were imprisoned by Pakistani authorities before 2019 and are still languishing in the jail. he added.
The Minister said that Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency also seizes the fishing boats when the fishermen are arrested, and over a thousand of these boats, which are primary source of the fishermen’s livelihood, have been confiscated over the years. Likewise, the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has also confiscated around 300 boats belonging to fishermen from Pakistan.
He also said fishermen from Gujarat, lured by the temptation of larger catch, enter territorial waters of Pakistan unawares, and sometimes, even when they know they are entering Pakistani waters, they cannot stop or drop anchor because of the weather conditions.