Lahore: Pakistan on Monday handed over 86 Indian fishermen to India at the Wagah Border, a day after they were released by the authorities upon completing their one-year sentence for allegedly trespassing into Pakistan’s territorial waters. “We have handed over 86 Indian fishermen to the Indian authorities today after verifying their documents,” Rangers official Maj Waheed said.
Pakistan yesterday released 86 Indian fishermen from Malir Jail in Karachi, second time this month that Pakistan released Indian fishermen. Some 87 Indian fishermen were also released on March 6 and today’s release of 86 brings the total to 173. The fishermen arrived here in the morning by train. The Edhi Foundation arranged buses for them to the Wagah Border.
The fishermen were released after they completed their sentences of one year. Some 377 more Indian prisoners are languishing in the Malir jail out of whom 116 have to complete their sentences while the remaining 261 are undertrials. All the fishermen hail from Gujarat.
One of the freed prisoners Nanu Jeta told Dawn News that he was grateful for the facilities extended to him by the jail staff here. Both Indian and Pakistani fishermen are often arrested for illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location. In two incidents last month, Pakistan arrested 108 Indian fishermen and seized a total of 20 boats for what they called was illegally fishing in Pakistan’s territorial waters.