Pakistan arrests nine Indian fishermen off Gujarat coast

Nine Indian fishermen were arrested and five of their fishing trawlers seized by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) off Jakhau coast in Gujarat, a fishermen's body claimed today.

"The PMSA yesterday intercepted six boats, with 30 anglers on board, in the international waters off Jakhau coast. Later, it apprehended nine fishermen and five Indian fishing boats and took them to Karachi," National Fish Workers Forum national secretary Manish Lodhari said.

PMSA, however, let off one of the six boats carrying 21 Indian fishermen who reached the Okha coast this afternoon, said Lodhari, who is also the secretary of Porbandar Boat Association. Porbandar Boat Association president Hiralal Shiyal said though Indian fishermen had agreed to allow fishing trawlers from Pakistan in international waters, Pakistani authorities were not receptive to the idea and refused to allow Indian boats and fishermen in the international waters.

PMSA had arrested 13 Indian fishermen and seized 12 boats on October 16. On October 30, the agency apprehended 20 fishermen and seized 14 fishing trawlers that had strayed into international waters.

PMSA has so far seized close to 670 fishing boats and some 150 Indian fishermen are in Pakistani custody, Lodhari said, adding the action has caused immense financial loss to the community.

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