The Union government is in the process of bringing back the body of a fisherman from Gujarat, who died in a Pakistan jail in March this year, a top state official said.
The state government has completed all the necessary paper-work and formalities to bring back the body, the official added.
Deva Rama Baraiya (55), a fisherman from Kotada village in Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district, was arrested from the high seas by the Pakistani maritime patrolling agencies and put in a Karachi jail on February 2.
Pravin Dhansukh Chavda, a cellmate of Baraiya, had written a letter to Baraiya’s family on April 22 informing about his death in the prison on March 4, Kotada village sarpanch Babubhai Somabhai had said.
Talking to PTI today, Gujarat Chief Secretary Dr J N Singh said the Gujarat government had received a communication from the External Affairs Ministry on June 12, directing it to complete the necessary paperwork to bring back his body.
“Following the ministry’s communication, all the necessary paper-work and formalities related to bringing back the body of the deceased fisherman have been completed. His body will be brought back to Gujarat to enable his family to perform the last rites,” he said.
The ministry communication said that Baraiya, along with three other fishermen were arrested by the Pakistani Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) from the Arabian Sea on February 2 and thereafter lodged in a jail there. The boat in which they were fishing in the sea was also seized by the Pakistan agency.
The External Affairs Ministry asked the state to respond immediately, so that the “mortals remains of the deceased could be flown back to India from Pakistan at the earliest”.
K R Patni, deputy director of the Gujarat Fisheries Department said the government officials were rushed to Kotada village to obtain the consent letter from Kasturben, the dead fisherman’s wife, as it is one of the most key requirements to bring back the body.
Baraiya is survived by wife, who works as a maid, and six children. The family is poor and has been distraught since getting the news of Baraiya’s death, the head of Kotada village had said.