Pakistan has detained more than 100 Indian fishermen for reportedly fishing in waters controlled by Islamabad. All the fishermen arrested by Pakistan's Maritime Security Agency (MSA) are set to be produced in court.
Pakistani authorities also seized 18 boats for allegedly crossing the maritime boundary, off the Jakhau coast in Gujarat's Kutch district.
This is not the first time fishermen from one of the sides have been arrested by the other. Every year dozens of Indian and Pakistani fishermen are arrested by each other's security forces for violating the border with most of them ending up in prisons. The strained diplomatic relations between the troubled neighbours do not help in securing their early release.
"We have learnt that more than 100 fishermen who were on board around 18 fishing boats were apprehended by the PMSA near the international maritime boundary line off Jakhau coast," National Fishworkers' Forum (NFF) secretary Manish Lodhari was quoted as saying. "The fishermen who escaped have informed us about this."
On Friday, 24 March, the Indian Coast Guard arrested nine Pakistani nationals for fishing in Indian waters.
Indian authorities are trying to contact Pakistani officials in order to ascertain the exact number of people arrested. It is said to be one of the biggest arrests made by Pakistan's MSA in recent months. "In March so far, the PMSA has separately held over 225 fishermen along with nearly three dozen boats," added Lodhari. In January 2017, Pakistan had released more than 200 fishermen as a symbolic gesture to improve bilateral relations.