As Modi becomes PM, Pak sends 151 fishermen home

  • Aseem Bassi, Hindustan Times, Amritsar
  • Updated: May 26, 2014 23:07 IST

On the day when Narendra Modi took oath as Prime Minister, Pakistan released 151 Indian fishermen at the Attari border near here in a goodwill gesture.

Freed from the Karachi jail, the group with majority of the members from Modi's home state of Gujarat crossed into India around 4pm. Pakistan PM Nawaz Sharif had ordered their release before reaching New Delhi to participate in the swearing-in ceremony of Modi. On entering the country, they went down on their knees and pressed their foreheads against the Indian soil in respect.

Most of them have spent one to two years in Pakistan's captivity after being picked up by its coast guards for intruding their sea territory. "We are happy at the goodwill gesture of Pakistan and proud that today we have a Prime Minister from Gujarat. The way Gujarat developed under Modi, the entire country will," said Gujarat fisherman Tappu.

Claiming that even in the prison, they talked a lot about Modi, Tappu said: "We want him to take up some of the matters of Indian fishermen with Pakistan. We go into the sea to earn livelihood. Since the sea border is not marked, we can't make out where India ends and Pakistan starts."

Fisherman Vijay Kumar appealed to the new PM to bring back the Indian prisoners in Pakistan who had lost mental and physical health. "Both India and Pakistan should be lenient to innocent fishermen. We don't deserve to be put in jail and our families don't have to suffer," said fisherman Dhiru.

Already, a Gujarat government a team is in Amritsar to take the fishermen home.

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