Coastal states in India have been directed to ensure that no fishermen operate in the sensitive areas close to Indo-Pak notional International Maritime Boundary Line(IMBL) in view of the prevailing tension between the two countries.
Highly-placed sources told Kadapuram News that directions had already been issued to the Chief Secretaries of the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and West Bengal in this regard.
The Union Home Ministry that took stock of the situation had warned that fishing boats operating close to Indo-Pak notional IMBL are vulnerable to severe risk and also provide anti-national elements an opportunity to repeat 26/11 like attacks against the nation disguising as Indian fishermen.
The sources pointed out that a Pakistani fibre boat that intruded into the Sir Creek area recently had fired three rounds close to an Indian fishing boat and took away the communication equipments.
The Home Ministry directed fisheries departments to strictly check all fishing boats for possession of valid license and identity of crew members. It also directed the state governments to take punitive measures against the defaulting fishing boats.
Meanwhile, the External Affairs Ministry expressed deep concern over the delay in the release and repatriation of Indian prisoners held under Pakistan custody despite completion of sentence and nationality confirmation.
There are 385 Indian fishermen, whose nationality has been confirmed and conveyed to the Government of Pakistan, who have been languishing in Pakistan jails despite completing their sentence. The government has sought urgent and concrete steps to repatriate them to India at the earliest, along with their boats.