At least eight fishermen from Andhra Pradesh were among 22 Indian fishermen apprehended by Pakistan Marine Security Agency off Gujarat coast on Thursday. Officials said that the fishermen were detained near the International Maritime Boundary Line in the Arabian Sea on charges of entering Pakistan's territorial waters.
The fishermen from Srikakulam and Vizianagarm districts of north coastal Andhra had migrated to Gujarat and they were among a group of 22 who had ventured into the sea on three boats. The fishermen were reportedly taken to Karachi.
Administration officials from both the districts have reached out to the families and assured them of help.
The fishermen from Srikakulam district were identified as Gangalla Rama Rao, Kesamu Yerrayya, Surada Appa Rao and Surada Kishore. They were reported to belong to Mrutyapalam village in Edcherla mandal.
The families of fishermen apprehended by Pakistan were worried over their safety. They appealed to the state government to take steps to ensure their immediate return.
âWe learnt from fellow fishermen that they were detained by the Pakistan officials. We are worried about their safety. If they have crossed the border, it is out of ignorance and not intentional,â a relative of one of the fishermen who was detained, was quoted as saying.
Andhra Pradesh's resident commissioner in New Delhi, Arja Srikanth, through officials in foreign ministry contacted the Indian High Commission in Pakistan to seek the help for the fishermen's release. He was doing so on the instructions of state Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.
The officials in Indian High Commission have contacted Pakistan officials. Every year, fishermen from coastal Andhra go to Gujarat in September and return in March.
A sizable population of fishermen from the state also travel to Gujarat in âjellyfish seasonâ between June to July and November to December. They generally return by January or February.
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