Fisherman killed in firing by Pakistan maritime security personnel off Gujarat coast: Police

A fisherman from Palghar, Maharashtra, was killed and another wounded in the high seas off the Gujarat coast after personnel of Pakistan’s Maritime Security Agency allegedly opened fire at an Indian fishing boat in the Arabian Sea, official sources said on Sunday. “We have taken serious note of this incident. We are going to take up this issue diplomatically with the Pakistan side,” a government source said in New Delhi on Sunday.

The fisherman who was killed has been identified as Shridhar Chamre, a 32-year-old from Vadrai village in Palghar district. The fishing boat, Jal Pari, with crew members from Gujarat and Maharashtra, had set sail from Okha port in Gujarat on October 26. “They were fishing off Jakhau coast when the PMSA chased and fired at them around 4 pm on Saturday,” said Sunil Joshi, Superintendent of Police of Devbhumi Dwarka district. “We have shifted his body to Jamnagar for forensic post-mortem,” said MD Makwana, Sub-Inspector of Okha Marine police station, adding, “The injured fisherman has been identified as Dilip Solanki, the tandel (captain) of the boat.

He has a bullet injury but is out of danger.” Chamre’s family in Vadrai village said he worked on a fishing boat at Okha, the nearest big port from Palghar. “He would travel to the port and come back when the catch was poor.

This time he went in August and had been there since then. The government should help the family… he was the only earning member,” said Chamre’s cousin Praful Bhoir. The victim’s body is expected to reach Palghar on Monday.

Chamre is survived by his wife and daughters, aged 8 and 6, and elderly parents. Meanwhile, Manish Lodhari, a fisherman leader in Porbandar said the PMSA allegedly apprehended six fishermen on board another fishing boat, Shree Padmani, and also seized the boat. Sources said both Shree Padmani and Jal Pari were part of the same group of fishing trawlers which were operating off Gujarat’s Jakhau coast.

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.

With inputs from Gopal Kateshiya, Rajkot; Shubhajit Roy, Delhi

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