Tribune press service
New Delhi, November 7
India has taken due note of the “unprovoked shooting incident” in which a Pakistan Maritime Safety Agency (PMSA) vessel fired at an Indian fishing boat, resulting in the death of a fisherman and injury to another.
“We will take up this issue diplomatically with the Pakistani side,” sources said here.
While Pakistan said six Indian fishermen had been arrested, there was no official word from the Indian side.
The Indian fisherman was killed and another injured after the PMSA fired at their fishing boat near the international maritime boundary in the Arabian Sea off the coast of Gujarat on Saturday night, the coast guard and the Gujarat Police in separate releases.
“The deceased has been identified as Shridhar Chamare, 32, from Palghar district in Maharashtra. He was on the fishing boat ‘Jalpari’, which left Okha on October 25 with seven crew members, including five from Gujarat and two from Maharashtra.” Dwarka Police Superintendent Sunil Joshi said.
Chamre’s body was brought to Okha port on Sunday and an FIR was registered by the relevant police station for any incident occurring beyond 12 nautical miles off the coast of Gujarat, he added.
The maritime domain violence erupted at a time when Pakistan was at odds with India on several issues. Its NSA will not attend an Afghanistan conference this week, Indian trucks carrying aid to Afghanistan have been denied access and overflight clearance has been withdrawn for a Srinagar-Sharjah flight recently resumed.
It is the first time in several years that a fisherman has been killed for suspected illegal fishing due to the failure of India and Pakistan to officially determine their maritime boundary, leaving small boats likely to inadvertently cross the waters. territorial.
Pakistan claimed its ships first tried to interdict the boat, but it did not respond or change course even after repeated warnings. After warning shots failed to force the boat to shut down its engines, the PMSA fired directly at the Indian boat. An Indian on board was killed and six occupants were arrested for questioning about their motives, he added.
Violence last erupted in the waters between Gujarat and Sindh in 2015 when Indian security forces sank a Pakistani boat that appeared to be carrying suspicious cargo.
The price of the lack of a maritime boundary and the promise of good fishing in waters away from the coast is paid by marginal fishers in both countries. 632 fishermen are currently in interminable detention, including 558 Indians and 74 Pakistanis.
Peace activists campaigning for their release say most of the good catches are far from the coast and fishermen on both sides sometimes stray across borders they don’t know. Recently, the coastguard seized a Pakistani fishing boat and arrested 14 fishermen for fishing near the coast of Gujarat.