Fishermen take out marches in Porbandar, KarachiApril 29th, 2010 - 12:01 am ICT by IANS
Porbandar, April 28 (IANS) In a show of solidarity, fishermen in India and Pakistan Wednesday took out marches in Porbandar and Karachi to demand the release of their kin incarcerated in the other country.
“If the respective governments still fail to respond, we will knock on the doors of the respective Supreme Courts,” Manish Lodhari, secretary of the Fishworkers Forum in Porbandar, said.
The proccessionists marched through the streets of Porbandar to the district collector’s office and submitted a memorandum listing their grievances to be forwarded to the president of India.
According to Lodhari, their demands include the release of fishermen in jails in Pakistan as well as the release of their boats.
“Five hundred and eightyone fishermen are in jails in Pakistan, and of these 460 have already served their prison terms. Similarly 444 Indian boats are in Pakistani possession. The condition of the Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails is pathetic,” he said.
Lodhari said that their counterparts in Pakistan, all members of the Pakistan Fisheries Forum led by their president Mohammed Ali Shah, had taken out a similar rally through the streets of Karachi demanding release of their kin and boats in Indian custody.
Over 247 Pakistani fishermen and 65 of their boats are in Indian custody, according to information available from their counterparts across the border. Besides Porbandar, similar rallies were taken out in smaller fishing towns like Veraval, Mangrol, Okha and Dwarka.
Jeevan Jungi of the Porbandar Boats Association said that the territorial disputes between the two countries was making life miserable for fishermen on both sides of the border.
“Many innocent fishermen and their families are suffering on this count on both sides of the border. We have, therefore, decided to come together to take this up with our respective governments,” he added.
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Tags: ali shah, counterparts, fisheries forum, grievances, india and pakistan, indian boats, indian fishermen, jails, karachi, marches, memorandum, mohammed ali, okha, possession, president of india, prison terms, rallies, solidarity, supreme courts, territorial disputes