Vadodara, June 5: As many as 200 Indian fishermen released by Pakistan authorities reached Vadodara in Gujarat on Monday by a special train from Punjab, an official said. The fishermen were welcomed when they reached the Vadodara railway early morning, he said.
The Pakistan Maritime Security Agency apprehended these fishermen between 2019 and 2022 from the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off the Gujarat coast in the Arabian Sea, claiming they had entered the Pakistani waters. Gujarat: 198 Fishermen Released From Pakistan Reach Vadodara, Welcomed by State Agriculture Minister Raghavji Patel.
Last week, Pakistan released the 200 Indian fishermen, who were handed over to the Border Security Force (BSF) authorities at the Joint Check Post at the Attari-Wagah border in Amritsar (Punjab), an official earlier said. Out of the 200 fishermen, 171 are from Gujarat and the others from Diu, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar, a Gujarat fisheries department official said.
A team of Gujarat fisheries department officials had received the 200 fishermen at the Wagah border in Amritsar and brought them to Vadodara by train, he said. From Vadodara, they were being sent to their native places, a government statement said. The fishermen's release was ensured through diplomatic efforts by the central government and efforts made by the Gujarat government, it said.
"As many as 200 fishermen apprehended by Pakistan reached Vadodara by a special train. They were welcomed at the Vadodara railway station," stated the release. Among the freed fishermen, 171 are from Gujarat, including 129 from Gir Somnath district, 31 from Devbhoomi Dwarka, two from Junagadh, five from Navsari and four from Porbandar district in the state. Indian Prisoner Dies in Karachi; Pakistan to Release 199 Fishermen on May 12 As Goodwill Gesture.
Besides, three fishermen from Bihar, 15 from Diu, six from Maharashtra and five from Uttar Pradesh have also been released, the government said. "The fishermen were medically examined and a team of the state fisheries department and police also went to the Wagah border to receive them," it said.
Pakistan last week announced the release of 200 Indian fishermen and three civilian prisoners as a humanitarian gesture. Prior to this, 184 fishermen from Gujarat were released by Pakistani authorities last month.