MUMBAI/NEW DELHI: In a fresh flare-up of tensions between India and Pakistan, a fisherman from Maharashtra on a trawler near international waters off Kutch was shot dead and another injured in firing by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency on Saturday.
India is lodging a strong protest against the firing, which was described as “unprovoked”. Sridhar Chamre, 32, belonged to Palghar district. His injured mate is being treated at a hospital in Okha, Gujarat. Fishermen along the coast in Palghar, including Vadrai village from where Chamre hailed, have called a bandh on Monday.
The Pakistan coast guard forces are being accused of being increasingly trigger-happy against Indian fishermen. This is the second incident involving a fatality since September 2015 when a 40-year-old worker on a fishing boat was shot dead by PMSA for allegedly crossing Indian waters. In September 2020, PMSA personnel fired at five Indian fishermen near the maritime boundary line off Jakhau coast in Kutch. One was injured. In February this year, Pakistan arrested 17 Indian fishermen and confiscated their boats for allegedly straying into its territorial waters.
Pakistan holds over 600 Indian fishermen in custody and over 1,100 boats. Officials and fishermen bodies have often complained that even when Pakistan releases the fishermen, they keep their boats.
The latest incident, officials said, is still under investigation. MEA added India would take it up diplomatically with the Pakistani side.
Manish Lodhari, president of the Marine Fisheries Co-op Ltd, Porbandar, said the firing happened near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL) at Jakhau in Kutch. The boat with seven crew members had set sail on October 26 from Okha port. On Saturday around 4 pm, PMSA personnel fired at the trawler.
Unconfirmed reports said Chamre was hit by three bullets and died on the spot. A bullet pierced through the cheek of another labourer Dilip Tandel, who was piloting the boat.
Victim’s father Ramesh said the family was informed about the incident by the owner of the boat Jalpari, Jayantilal Rathod. “My son went to work on the boat in mid-September. We are told he was in Indian waters and was hit on the chest.”
The five other crew members escaped unhurt. The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) in a statement said the case is under investigation by police and the crew is being interviewed jointly. “Details can be shared only after completion of the investigation,” it said. At least four to five fishing boats were believed to be in the vicinity when the firing took place.
The body was brought to the Okha port and a case has been registered with the Porbandar Navi Bandar police, said Devbhumi Dwarka Superintendent of Police Sunil Joshi.
Chamre is survived by his parents, wife and two daughters, aged 8 and 6. His father Ramesh works as a labourer on fishing boats in their village. His mother Anysiya said, “I have lost my elder son, he was the one who took care of us.”




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