April 29, 2021 6:19:54 am
A day after intimating Gujarat government that Pakistan will repatriate on April 30 the mortal remains of Ramesh, a fisherman who had died in a Pakistan jail more than a month ago, the Central government on Wednesday informed the state government that the repatriation of the fisherman’s body will be delayed.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) had written to the Gujarat government on Tuesday that Pakistan will hand over mortal remains of Ramesh at Wagah/Attari border crossing on Friday. “Indian High Commission in Islamabad has confirmed that the repatriation of mortal remains of late Ramesh… is scheduled on 30 April 2021 through Wagah/Attari border..,” a communication from MEA to Gujarat government on Tuesday stated.
DP Desai, in-charge fisheries commissioner of Gujarat confirmed that his office had received the intimation from the MEA. “We have received a communication from the MEA intimating us that the fisherman’s body would be handed over at Wagah on April 30. We will send our team there to receive the body. We are making arrangements to send his body from Wagah to his native place. We are exploring possibilities, including bring his body to Gujarat by air,” Desai confirmed to The Indian Express on Wednesday afternoon.
However, the officer later said that the repatriation of the fisherman’s mortal remains would be delayed. “We just received a mail from MEA that it is going to be delayed,” Desai said.
“The latest communique from the MEA does not cite any reason for the delay. All it says that Ramesh’s mortal remains would not be repatriated on April 30 and that a fresh date will be communicated later on,” said an officer of fisheries department of Gujarat.
Ramesh, who hails from a coastal village in Gujarat, was apprehended by Pakistan in May 2019 while fishing in the Arabian Sea off Gujarat coast. He had completed his prison sentence in July 2019 but was never granted consular access by Pakistan. Hence his nationality could not be ascertained till his death inside a Karachi jail on March 26.
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