Families Of Fishermen Jailed In India, Pakistan Cry For Help; 749 Languish In Prisons For Years
Fishing community outfits in India and Pakistan have urged the Prime Ministers of both countries to immediately release the 749 fishermen who are languishing in prisons on both sides of the border for years.
Points to Ponder:
- The fishing community organizations in India and Pakistan have petitioned the Prime Ministers of both nations to release the 749 fishermen who are currently imprisoned on both sides of the border.
- The fishermen’s release has been demanded by community leaders as a humanitarian action during the month of Ramzan.
- Various organizations, including the National Fisherworkers Forum in India, the South Asian Solidarity Conclave, the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, and the Pakistan India People’s Forum for Peace and Democracy, signed letters to the Prime Ministers.
- During their fishing expeditions, the fishermen are caught breaching the International Maritime Border in the Arabian Sea between India and Pakistan.
- They are prosecuted for violating the different countries’ passport laws and sentenced to three to six months in prison.
- However, the fishermen’s release is seldom as quick as their arrest, and many of them wind up languishing in bars for years.
- According to Velji Masani, head of the Akhil Bharatiya Fishermen Association, there are currently 666 Indian fishermen imprisoned in Pakistan, 559 of whom are from Gujarat.
- There are also 83 Pakistani fishermen imprisoned in India, 50 of whom have served their terms.
- Community leaders have emphasized the importance of re-establishing the Joint Judicial Committee on Prisoners and releasing the arrested fishermen.
- They pointed out that the fishermen are incredibly poor individuals with nothing but their fishing tools, and they spend several unhappy years in jail, even though the highest punishment they can receive is only three months.