Eighty-six fishermen, who were recently released from a Pakistani jail, today reached Gujarat’s coastal town Veraval to a warm welcome by their families.
"It is double celebration as I meet my family members on the day of Holi after a year," said Nathubhai, one of the released fishermen, at Veraval railway station in Gir-Somnath district.
The fishermen had been arrested by Pakistani authorities for allegedly trespassing into Pakistan’s territorial waters.
They were released from Karachi’s Landhi jail on March 20 and crossed over to India through Wagah border.
A majority of fishermen who reached Veraval today belonged to Gujarat, while a few others were from Maharashtra and West Bengal.
The Gujarati fishermen were from Una, Talala, Kodinar, Jamnagar, Porbandar and Valsad, Secretary of National Fishworkers’ Forum, Manish Lodhri said.
Earlier, another batch of 86 fishermen had been released from Karachi jail a few weeks ago.
"There are still 400 Indian fishermen languishing in Pakistani jails. We recently wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi asking him to help release them and more urgently get 18 fishermen freed who are in Karachi jail for the last four years," Lodhri said.