India lodges strong protest with Pakistan

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Taking strong exception to the killing of an “innocent” Indian fisherman by the Pakistani security forces, India on Monday summoned a senior diplomat of the Pakistan High Commission here and lodged a protest.

Pakistani Maritime Security Agency(PMSA) resorted to unprovoked firing on an Indian fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat on Saturday that resulted in the death of the Indian national and injury to another.

“A senior diplomat from the High Commission of Pakistan was summoned by the Ministry of External Affairs today and a strong protest was lodged on the incident of unprovoked firing at Indian fishermen by Pakistan side,” said official sources.

The government of India condemned this deplorable action by the Pakistani agency of firing at an Indian fishing boat and causing loss of life which is in contravention to all established international practices and bilateral understandings, the sources said.

“It was reiterated that the authorities in Pakistan consider the issue of fishermen as a humanitarian and livelihood matter. The Government of Pakistan was also called upon to conduct an inquiry into the incident and to instruct its forces to refrain from such acts of unprovoked firing,” sources said.

Meanwhile, the Gujarat Police have registered an FIR on charges of murder and attempt to murder against 10 personnel of the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) after they allegedly fired at an Indian fishing boat in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast, killing a crew member and injuring another, news agency PTI reported.

The FIR was registered on Sunday night at Navi Bandar police station in Porbandar district, under IPC Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 114 (abettor present when offence is committed), and relevant provisions of the Arms Act.

As per the FIR, ten unidentified PMSA personnel, five each onboard two boats, are accused of opening fire at the Indian fishing boat ‘Jalpari’ at around four pm on Saturday, killing one Sridhar Chamre (32), a fisherman from Palghar district in Maharashtra. Another fisherman, named Dilip Solanki (34), who hailed from Diu, was injured in the firing. He is undergoing treatment at a hospital in Okha coastal town of Devbhumi Dwarka district in Gujarat. There were seven crew members on the fishing boat.

Last year in February, there was a spurt in the number of fishermen getting caught by Pakistan in the high seas. The Gujarat government had then told the state legislature that PMSA had seized 11 fishing boats and 63 crew (fishermen) in four different incidents between February 13 and 18 last year. Twenty-three of these fishermen were caught by Pakistan on a single day — February 13, 2020.

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