Pakistani Marine Security Agency has allegedly kidnapped 18 fishermen from Gujarat and seized two of their boats. The Pakistani Marine Agency allegedly held the fishermen who were fishing in the Arabian sea.
Of the two boats that have been detained, one is from Porbandar and another from Okha. Officials said the fishermen were well within India’s maritime boundary line when the Pak agency forcefully ‘kidnapped’ them.
Fishermen kidnapping- background
Earlier Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in September informed the assembly that 45 fishermen and eight boats from the state were seized by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on September 15 near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL).
Rupani’s answers came concerning a question raised by Congress MLA Punja Vansh. Six of the eight boats were from Porbandar, while two were from Gir Somnath district, the house was told.
Minister of State for Home Pradeepsinh Jadeja said the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) regularly issues warnings to Gujarat fishermen if they go near the IMBL in search of a better catch.
The Fisheries department also suspends boat operating licences of erring fishermen who venture into the No Fishing Zone in the Arabian Sea after crossing IMBL, he said.
Steps taken by govt for Gujarat fishermen
Speaking on the steps taken by the state government to reduce the instances of Indian fishermen being caught by Pakistani authorities, Jadeja had at that time said provides a subsidy of Rs 20,000 to fishermen to instal GPS systems in their boats.
As of now 5,000 of the 30,000 registered boats in the state have a GPS and the state has spent Rs9.76 crore on subsidy for the same. He said that transponders have been fitted on 440 boats which makes it easier to monitor them.
He said families of Gujarat fishermen who were caught by Pakistani authorities were paid Rs569 lakh in help in the last three years.
He also said that since the maritime boundary was not visible, cases of Gujarat fishermen crossing over were reported often but efforts are on to ensure that more and more boats can be warned whenever they cross the boundary.
He said the state has conducted over 1,000 awareness programmes with fishermen and boat owners to make them aware of the situation.
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