24 Indian fishermen, including 8 from Andhra Pradesh, held in Pakistan; Chandrababu Naidu urges MEA action

Twenty-four Indian fishermen on Friday were caught in Pakistani waters near the Gujarat border, and were subsequently taken into custody by the Pakistan Coast Guard. The fishermen reportedly veered into Pakistan's territory by accident.

 24 Indian fishermen, including 8 from Andhra Pradesh, held in Pakistan; Chandrababu Naidu urges MEA action

Representational image. Reuters

According to India Today, eight of the 24 detained fishermen hailed from Andhra Pradesh. Following the incident, the state's chief minister Chandrababu Naidu asked Andhra Bhavan's resident commissioner in New Delhi to contact the Ministry of External Affairs in efforts to free the fishermen.

Indian and Pakistani fishermen are frequently detained for illegal fishing since the Arabian Sea border is not clearly defined and many boats lack the technology to fix their precise location.

Pakistan had on 29 October released 68 Indian fishermen held for trespassing into its territorial waters, officials said.  "The fishermen were released from Karachi's Malir jail," Afaq Rizvi, a senior official from the prison, told AFP.

He said 380 Indian fishermen remained behind bars in the country.

Fishermen often languish in jail even after serving their terms, as poor diplomatic ties between the two neighbours mean fulfilling bureaucratic requirements can take a long time.

Pakistan had also released 78 Indian fishermen in July held for trespassing into its territorial waters.

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Updated Date: Nov 30, 2018 09:25:27 IST