A batch of 144 Indian fishermen, most of them from Gujarat, who were released by Pakistan last Thursday, arrived here today before proceeding to Veraval town from where they will go to their hometowns in various districts.
While most of the fishermen hailed from coastal and other districts of the state, some of them belonged to Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh. They were working in Gujarat when Pakistani maritime authorities had detained them for allegedly fishing in its territorial waters.
As a goodwill gesture, Pakistan had last week announced that 291 Indian fishermen will be released in two phases till January 8, 2018.
The fishermen were handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border on Friday. They were then accompanied by officials of Gujarat Fisheries department from Amritsar in Punjab to Vadodara.
An official said the fishermen would proceed to Veraval, the headquarter of Gir Somnath district, from where they will leave for their hometowns in various districts of the state.
Fishermen from Pakistan and India are frequently detained for illegally fishing in each other’s territorial waters since the Arabian Sea does not have a clearly defined marine border and the wooden boats lack the technology to avoid being drifted away.