After the revelation that MV Kuber,the fishing boat used by the terrorists who attacked Mumbai on November 26,2008,was registered in Porbander,the fishermen of the region have been facing a lot of trouble.
According to sources,the Pakistani marine agency has captured 10 fishing boats based in Porbander along with their crew members after the 26/11 terror attack.
Sources in the National Fishworkers Forum said,the 10 boats currently under Pakistani custody have been identified as Krishna-Ganga,Varun,Nilgagan,Surya,Rojyapooja,Bhaveshwari,Shreelabh Vinayak,Rajsagar,Siddhi and Vinayak.
Manish Lodhari,the secretary (Gujarat) of NFW,said: The Pakistani marine agency has captured our 10 fishing boats along with 56 crew members. They all are in jails in Pakistan.
This has scared the fishermen here. To ensure early release of the jailed fishermen,we have stepped up our efforts and approached the Central government,the state government and the Ministry of External Affairs, said Lodhari.
He further said that apart from fishermens safe release from Pakistani jails,our second priority is to get back the possession of our fishing boats,which have been lying anchored on the Pakistani shores.
According to Lodhari,these boats are the only means of livelihood for the fishing community. One boat provides employment to nearly 100 people,he said.
During the last five years,Pakistans marine agency has captured our 392 fishing boats. And despite our efforts and repeated pleas,we havent succeeded as yet to get back the possession of even a single boat, he said.
This has badly hit nearly 400 people. Besides,the insecurity in the sea has forced fishermen either to stop or limit their operations,he said.
Bachubhai Kasta,secretary,Veraval Fishing Boat Association,said the fishermen have become a harrassed lot.
After the Mumbai attacks,Indian security agencies have become strict in implementing rules and regulations related to marine and fishing activities. On the other hand,the Pakistani agency has become hostile and has been capturing our fishing boats, he said.