In a major development, FIR against 10 Pakistani maritime personnel was filed after an Indian fisherman was killed off the Gujarat coast. The incident happened on November 7, Sunday. Along with 1 person dying, another was rendered injured in the incident. After the incident, India moved its diplomatic channels for the “unprovoked firing” on the Indian national, India Today reported. Meanwhile, Pakistan has categorically maintained that the boat had transgressed into the country’s territorial water “illegally” and that the firing was done after the boat paid no heed to the “warning”.

The news comes at a time when India is already facing challenges from China that has been making activities along the LAC (line of actual control). Not only has China been constructing structures along the Arunachal LAC, but on the Ladakh front, it’s been eying the Indian troops.

Background

Ever since the India-Pakistan conflict emerged as one of the biggest geopolitical conflicts in 20th century, defense experts have tried drawing clear lines between the two countries. This has been for obvious reasons pertaining to security. In the case of land, the lines are clearer, but when it comes to waters, the demarcation lines get blurred.

Due to this, fishermen suffer the consequences of the conflict the most. Every few years, reports of either countries arresting fishermen and then releasing them make it to the people. Further, reports of fishermen dying on the sea due to security reasons are also less rare than one would imagine.

Recently, an Indian fisherman was killed and another was injured after Pakistani maritime personnel fired at them.


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The Facts of the Matter

A Maharashtra fisherman was killed in the high seas, while another was injured after the PMSA (Pakistan Maritime Security Agency) opened fire at their fishing boat. The deceased fisherman was later identified as 32-year-old Sridhar Chamre. The injured has been identified as Dilip Solanki, who was also the captain of the boat.

‘Jal Pari’ Was In Waters Since October

Reportedly, the boat, ‘Jal Pari’, had set sail from Gujarat earlier in October. The boat was off the Jakhau coast when it was on the receiving end of the firing from PMSA. The crew of the boat comprised of people from Gujarat and Maharashtra.

An Indian Express report quoted a fisherman leader who claimed that the PMSA has apprehended six fishermen on another boat called Shree Padmani along with seizing the boat.


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Case Filed Under IPC and Arms Act

Meanwhile, after the incident, the PMSA was booked by the Gujarat Police under IPC’s attempt to murder charges and under Arms Act’s provisions. The FIR was lodged earlier on November 7 at Porbandar’s Navi Bandar police station.

The PMSA is booked under Section 302 (Punishment for Murder), Section 307 (Attempt to Murder), Section 114 (Abettor present when offence is committed) of the Indian Penal Code.

Pakistan’s Version of Incident

Meanwhile, an India Today report carried Pakistan’s official statement which read, “Pakistan Maritime Security Agency’s ships attempted to interdict the intruding boat, which even after repeated warnings did not respond or change course. PMSA ship fired warning shots in the vicinity of the Indian boat but again the boat did not stop its engines. Subsequently, PMSA fired directly onto the Indian boat after which it halted.”

Further, it was also reported that six persons on board boat Padmani have been taken into custody for further interrogation by Pakistan.


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632 Fishermen from India – Pak in Custody

As mentioned above, due to no concrete demarcation on maritime boundary, fishermen from both the sides have suffered dire consequences over the years. According to a Firstpost report, as many as 632 fishermen are in a never-ending custody. While 74 fishermen are from Pakistan, 558 remaining fishermen are from India.