Pakistan seizes two Indian fishing boats off Gujarat coast



RAJKOT/NEW DELHI: Three days after a suspected Pakistani terror boat sank after being intercepted off Porbandar coast, Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency (MSA) reportedly “apprehended” two Indian fishing vessels with 12 fishermen on board amid escalating tensions along both the land and maritime boundaries between the two neighbours.

According to reports from Gujarat, the two boats — Jhelelal and Jalaram — were seized by the MSA (Pakistan’s counterpart of the Indian Coast Guard) from the notional international maritime boundary line (IMBL) off Jakhau coast on Saturday night.

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Fishermen association leader from Porbandar Manish Lodhari said they had received a message from the fishermen about the seizure by MSA.

Identity of captured Indians unknown

In Rajkot, an Indian Coast Guard official confirmed the abduction of Gujarati fishermen but said their identity was not yet established. He said, “We would need to get in touch with the fisheries department of the state government to establish their identities, which will now be possible only on Monday.”

But in New Delhi, the maritime authorities said they had no immediate confirmation of the reported seizure of the two Indian fishing boats. “Seizure of each other’s boats is a normal practice since fishermen from both sides cross the IMBL for a better catch on a daily basis,” said an official.

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