Emphasising the need for fishermen to have clear proof of identification, the home ministry has told nine coastal states and four union territories that it will issue the necessary identity cards provided states can get the requisite forms filled. At a high-level meeting today it was decided that since states have different identity papers, the Registrar General of India (RGI) will design a model identification system to be followed by the coastal states.
States have been informed to file data relating to fishermen and boats to the RGI at the earliest. “The Centre, however, will not permanently do this. This is just being done to facilitate security provisions,” a senior official said. The Coast Guard had earlier pointed out that fishing boats travelled in and out of international waters were often seized by Pakistani authorities.