AHMEDABAD: Anticipating retaliation by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) over the recent apprehension of 12 fishermen from that country in the Indian waters, authorities in Gujarat have issued advisories asking fishermen to not venture too close to the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) in the Arabian sea.
In a circular, the Gujarat fisheries commissioner has said that with the PMSA increasing its presence along the IMBL, fishermen are advised against operating close to the country’s boundary with Pakistan in the Arabian sea.
The Indian Coast Guard on September 15 seized a Pakistani boat with 12 crew members from the Indian waters.
“In such a situation, there is a possibility of the Pakistani Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) apprehending Indian fishermen from near the IMBL with the intention to retaliate,” said the circular.
The fisheries commissioner has directed officials in coastal districts of Gujarat to contact all the boat owners, associations, leaders etc. and to take necessary precautions.
Recently, the Gujarat Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) and the Indian Coast Guard had seized an Iranian boat with 30-kg heroin worth Rs 150 crore in the international market off the Gujarat coast and arrested seven Iranian crew members.
Police in the coastal districts of Gujarat has also been asked to create awareness among the fishermen regarding recent events concerning India’s coastal security.
They have been asked to advise fishermen to keep an eye on illegal activities within Indian waters and inform authorities on the toll-free number 1093 or 100, an official release said.
“Keeping in mind the past incidents, fishermen are advised not to go too close to the IMBL,” the Special Operations Group (SOG) of the coastal district of Porbandar said in the release issued on Monday.
As per the release, the police teams have been asked to contact the fishermen and inform them about the security situation along the Gujarat coast and to ask them to keep an eye on the illegal activities within the sea.
The Gujarat government had in March this year informed the Legislative Assembly that 345 fishermen from the state, apprehended by the PMSA from near the IMBL on different occasions, remained lodged in Pakistani jails.