India to release 59 Pak fishermen on May 27

The fishermen were taken into custody between September 2005 and February this year.

india Updated: May 23, 2006 17:59 IST

In a unilateral humanitarian gesture, India on Tuesday decided to release and send home 59 Pakistani fishermen on Saturday.

The fishermen, taken into custody between September 2005 and February this year, will be sent to Pakistan from Munnabao in Rajasthan by the recently-launched Thar Express, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement in New Delhi.

It said the unilateral decision was taken as a "goodwill gesture" by India on humanitarian grounds.

There are 505 Indian fishermen in Pakistan who were taken into custody by Pakistani authorities between September last year and March this year.

Besides, 287 Indian fishing boats are in Pakistan's custody, which have been detained since October 2003, the statement said.

The government is continuing its efforts to secure the release of Indian fishermen and their boats, it said.

The fishermen are caught and their boats seized when they cross into territorial waters of the other country.

First Published: May 23, 2006 17:59 IST