Fishermen on Tuesday were advised by the Indian Coast Guard to not venture near the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) in the Arabian Sea in the wake of the pre-dawn strikes on terrors camps in Pakistan by the Indian Air Force.
Coast Guard DIG Iqbal Singh Chauhan convened a meeting of fishermen leaders and officers of state Fisheries Department in Porbandar Tuesday morning to sensitise them of the situation in the wake of the IAF’s aerial strikes.
After the meeting, Vishal Gohel, Assistant Director of Fisheries Department in Porbandar issued an advisory to fishermen asking them to not approach any patrolling vessels of security forces as “they had the liberty to open fire on any suspicious boat approaching them”.
Taking lessons from the 26/11 Mumbai attack when terrorists hijacked a Porbandar fishing boat to reach the Mumbai coast, the officer also asked fishermen to not entertain any request by strangers at the sea if they seek any information or request or offer any kind of “allurement” to help them reach the coast. Fishermen were told to report about any such incidents to Coast Guard control room by dialling 1554 or 1093.
“…it is hereby informed that security forces will undertake intense patrolling… The Indian Coast Guard and the Indian Navy has conveyed that they have the permission to fire on any suspicious fishing boats which will approach their ships patrolling the IMBL. Therefore, fishermen are directed not to go close to such vessels of security forces doing patrolling,” the circular stated.
There are around 2,200 registered fishing boats in Probandar.
“Around 1,000 fishing boats of Porbandar are at sea for fishing and we have asked them to withdraw from the IMBL. We have asked them to report to police or security agencies if they spot any foreign vessels in Indian waters,” Jadavji Posteria, president of Porbandar Machchimar Boat Association, told The Indian Express.