Indian fisherman shot dead by Pakistani security forcestext_fields
An Indian fisherman was shot dead by the Pakistani Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) in what appears to be an unprovoked firing that took place near the international maritime boundary off the coast of Gujarat on Saturday evening. The victim has been identified as 32-year old Sridhar Ramesh Chamre whose body was recovered and brought back to the Okha port in Gujarat. One other member of the boat crew has sustained injuries according to the Indian Coast Guard.
"A fisherman from Thane in Maharashtra, who was on a fishing boat 'Jalpari,' was killed after the PMSA personnel opened fire on him and other crew members on Saturday evening. The boat had sailed from Okha on October 25," Devbhumi Dwarka Superintendent of Police Sunil Joshi was quoted in a PTI report.
India has strongly condemned the attack and will be launching an investigation into the matter. However Pakistani officials have claimed that the shooting occured because the boat had transgressed into Pakistani territorial waters. The official statement released by the Pakistani government said tht a warning had been issued but the boat paid no heed.
"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," the statement said.
The statement also alleged that all the crew members on board had been taken in for questioning, as "PMSA faces security concerns arising from Indian maritime drug smuggling rings as well as transport of weapons and support to terrorist organisations." However this has not been confirmed by Indian authorities. In March this year, Gujarat authorities had taken cognisance of the fact that 345 fishermen had been lodged in Pakistani jails as of December 2020. GPS alert systems were also provided to fishing boats to prevent them from entering Pakistani territory.