The Border Security Force (BSF) has detained 18 Pakistani fishermen and seized two boats for violating the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) off Koteshwar coast in Kutch.
The Pakistani fishermen were taken in the custody Wednesday, a day after the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) arrested 10 Indian fishermen off Jakhau coast.
According to BSF officials, the border force’s water wing intercepted the two fishing trawlers 35 km off Koteshwar border outpost.
Approximately 350 kg fish, four fishing nets, a mobile phone, an ice box and 11 plastic jerrycans were also seized from the boats.
“On 11th May 2016 at about 1330 hours, a special BSF petrol party apprehended 18 number of Pakistani fishermen along with 02 number of Pakistan fishing boats who were doing illegal fishing approximately 04 kilometres inside Indian waters in Nar Creek Area (sic),” a release from the BSF stated Thursday.
“Apprehended Pakistan fishermen are resident of Chhacha Jan Khan, district Thatta, Pakistan. The place of apprehension is approximately 35 kms from Koteshwar and approximately 4 kms from Sir Creek,” stated the release.
While the release stated that the detained fishermen have been handed over to local police, IG (border range) IK Jadeja said police were yet to receive a formal communication from the BSF.
“It is in our knowledge that 18 Pakistani fishermen have been detained by the BSF, but we have not been formally informed by the border force yet. After crossing the IMBL, they were found operating in a creek area which is a prohibited zone, and therefore their intention could be mala fide,” I K Jadeja, IG, border range, told The Indian Express.
The IG said after the BSF hands over the 18 fishermen to Kutch police, an FIR will be lodged. “We shall then take them to joint interrogation centre (JIC) in Bhuj for their interrogation by various police, various intelligence and defence agencies,” said Jadeja.
The boat seizure comes around two months after a red alert was sounded in the district following intelligence warning that 10 Pakistani terrorists might try to sneak in Kutch via the waterfront to carry out attack in India. The intelligence input had come close on the heels of half a dozen Pakistani fishing vessels found abandoned near Kutch coast in the preceding few months.