December 19, 2011 4:20:18 am
State Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Dilip Sanghani said the Pakistani authorities have started auctioning over 500 Indian boats seized by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA).
Through fishermen,I have come to know that Pakistani authorities have started auctioning Indian fishing trawlers. Boats are being sold for Rs 5 to Rs 10 lakh against their price of around Rs 40 lakh in India. I suspect,the auction is a drama to make vessels available to terrorists, Sanghni told The Indian Express from Okha.
Sanghni said he got the news from fishermen who had received the information from their Pakistani counterparts. The auction began last week and 15 to 20 boats have already been sold, he added.
The minister said he would bring the matter to the Centres notice. I will soon write to the External Affairs and Defence ministers on this, he said.
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Porbandar Boat Association secretary Manish Lodhari said the auction was going on for a long time. It is going on for years now. Of the 540 Indian trawlers seized by Pakistan over the last nine year,250 have been sold, Lodhari said.
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