Mumbai, April 25 (IANS) A Mumbai-based activist on Monday urged Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to immediately release and repatriate 245 Indian fishermen stuck in the country’s jails for long.
In a tweet, activist and journalist Jatin Desai has said that these prisoners have already completed their prison sentences long ago, but continue to languish behind bars.
“While 14 have served their terms in 2018, 151 completed their sentences in 2019 and the remaining 80 in 2020. But they have yet to be released,” Desai said and also tagged External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar in the post.
Keeping these fishermen in prison even after they have served their full sentences is “inhuman” and ideally both countries should release and hand over each other’s prisoners as soon as they serve their jail term, he urged.
As per the latest data, around 625 Indian fishermen are still in Pakistan’s jails and some 80 Pakistani fisherfolk continue to languish in India’s prisons.
On February 4, a fisherman Nanu Ram Kamalia died in Pakistan’s Landi Jail, but his mortal remains were repatriated to India via Wagah Border only after two months, on April 4, to reach his village in Gujarat for the last rites the following day.
Activists on both sides have been making regular appeals to the governments of both countries to consider the plight of the fisherfolk caught, jailed by both sides, forced to undergo prison terms and are still deprived of freedom after completing their sentences, causing huge trauma to their families, and sought a formal mechanism for permanent resolution to such issues.