Andhra Pradesh

20 State fishermen released by Pakistan head home

Andhra Pradesh Fisheries and Marketing Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana (L) offers sweets to Indian fishermen after their release, at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah, about 35 km from Amritsar on January 6, 2020. - Pakistan on January 5 released 20 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters, officials said. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)

Andhra Pradesh Fisheries and Marketing Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana (L) offers sweets to Indian fishermen after their release, at the India-Pakistan border in Wagah, about 35 km from Amritsar on January 6, 2020. - Pakistan on January 5 released 20 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters, officials said. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP)   | Photo Credit: NARINDER NANU

They were in jail for more than a year

Twenty fishermen belonging to Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts, who have been languishing in a Pakistani jail since December 2018, were finally freed on Monday and were handed over to the Indian authorities and a delegation of the State government led by

Fisheries Minister Mopidevi Venkataramana at the Wagah border by Pakistan Rangers. The fishermen were taken to Amritsar and are likely to be flown from New Delhi to Visakhapatnam on January 7 evening and from there taken to their respective villages. Speaking to media persons at Amritsar, Mr. Venkataramana said he was happy over the release of the fishermen — 15 from Srikakulam district and the remaining from Vizianagaram— and they were thankful to the Pakistan Government for being sympathetic to them. Necessary formalities were completed and arrangements made to enable the fishermen to get back to their villages.

‘Credit goes to CM’

The Minister said Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy took personal interest in getting the fishermen released and they were excited to meet their families after a long time.

The Central government (Ministry of External Affairs) played its role in securing the fishermen’s release, for which the A.P. government was grateful.

The Pakistan Ministry of Foreign Affairs communicated the decision to repatriate the fishermen to the Indian High Commission in Islamabad on December 31, 2019.

The State government has since stepped up the efforts to secure their release. Two more fishermen belonging to East Godavari district are still in the process of being set free as there was a delay in establishing their identities. The Indian government is pursuing the matter with Pakistan.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 4:54:03 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/20-state-fishermen-released-by-pakistan-head-home/article30497863.ece

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