THE CAPTAIN of a Porbandar-registered fishing trawler was injured after Pakistan Marine Security Agency (PMSA) allegedly opened fire on his boat while they were fishing at the Arabian Sea. Four other fishermen on board the same boat escaped unhurt, fishermen leaders said on Thursday. The development comes around a week after Pakistan apprehended 42 fishermen and seized their eight boats for allegedly violating its territorial waters.
Dhiru Bambhaniya, tandel or captain of fishing trawler Devlabh, sustained injuries on his left hand and chest after PMSA allegedly fired on his fishing boat.
Talking to media persons after arriving in Porbandar, Bambhaniya claimed that they were operating on the Indian side of the IMBL and that PMSA fired on them without any warning. “We were operating around 2 km on the Indian side of the IMBL when we saw a security boat approaching us. Initially, we thought that it was Indian Navy ship. However, when it came closer, we noticed the red stripe and realised that it was Pakistan Navy. So, we tried to steer away but they fired at us. They fired four shots on our boat and one of them hit me. But we managed to speed to safety,” the tandel said.
He further said that PMSA had fired on two other Indian fishing boats which were operating in the same waters but they managed to escape without suffering any damage.
“The incident took place at 11 am on Wednesday and Bambhaniya sustained minor injuries on his hand and chest. Fishermen are saying that a PMSA speedboat approached their fishing trawler while they were operating near the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) at the Arabian Sea, fired upon their trawler and then sped away. The fishermen further claimed that they had made a distress call to the Indian Coast Guard after the attack and eventually managed to sail to safety,” Jadavji Posteria, secretary of Porbandar Jilla Machhimar Mahamandal, an association of fishermen of Porbandar district, told The Indian Express.
Posteria said that the rest of the fishermen on board Devlabh have been identified as Jadish Parmar, Pragji Majithiya, Raju Rathod and Lalji Bambhaniya. “While they did make a distress call to the Indian Coast Guard, as their boat hadn’t sustained any major damage in the firing, they managed to return to Porbandar harbour on Thursday. The tandel was taken to civil hospital in Porbandar where he was given primary treatment,” the fishermen leader added.
He said that a bullet fired by the PMSA had pierced the window pane of the crew cabin of the fishing trawler but other fishermen escaped unhurt.
Porbandar police said they were recording statements of the five fishermen. “We are seeking details of the alleged incident from the fishermen right now and we will share the details as soon as they are available,” Julie Kothiya, deputy superintendent of police (Porbandar city), told The Indian Express.
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