The Indian government summoned Pakistan Deputy High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmad Khan summoned to the Ministry of External Affairs here on Monday and conveyed condemnation of the indiscriminate firing on unarmed Indian fishermen by a vessel of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA).
The firing near the Indo-Pakistan international maritime boundary line led to the death of one fisherman, said MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.
An India-Pakistan civil society organisation urged Prime Ministers of both countries to bring this “least discussed” issue on the top agenda.
Pakistan has been asked to thoroughly investigate the incident and share the results with India at an early date.
Mr. Khan, however, denied there had been any casualty in the incident and pointed out that the MSA had arrested 29 Indian fishermen and seized five boats after the fishermen entered 10 km inside the Pakistani exclusive economic zone.
The flag was raised by Pakistan India Peoples’ Forum for Peace & Democracy (PIPFPD) which had informed the media about the MSA firing on Indian boats last Friday.
Naranbhai Sosa (30) was killed in the firing, 30 fishermen were arrested and five boats confiscated. The matter came to light on Saturday morning when Sosa’s body was brought to Porbandar. Fishermen, who escaped detention and returned to India the next day with Sosa’s body, claimed they were on the Indian side of the international maritime boundary.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi has strongly criticised the Centre for not paying attention to this issue.
Fishing villages and towns of Saurashtra in Gujarat and Diu are most affected as the fear of getting arrested and the confiscation of boats has led to reluctance toward deep sea fishing. As a result, the economy of fishing villages and towns like Porbandar, Veraval, and Mangrol has been affected, said journalist and PIPFPD secretary Jatin Desai.
In a memorandum to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, PIPFPD has suggested four action points — an urgent meeting between the Task Force of Indian Coast Guard and the MSA; repatriating fishermen by sea along with their boats; implementing a “No Arrest Policy”; and, arranging meetings between fish-workers of both countries.
Around 280 Indian fishermen and about 780 Indian boats are in Pakistani custody. Similarly, around 180 Pakistani fishermen and 125 of their boats are with India.
High Commissioner Mansoor Ahmad Khan summoned