Attari Wagha Border, May 24 (UNI) Pakistan Rangers today handed over 99 Indian civil prisoners including 96 fishermen from Gujarat, to the Border Security Force personnel, in the first repatriation after forming of new democratic government in Pakistan.
The repatriation follows recent talks between Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee and Pakistan officials.
All the fishermen were caught by Pakistan authorities after 2001 when they inadvertently strayed into Pak waters while fishing off the Arabian Sea.
All the three others repatriated today belonged to Jammu and Kashmir and all had spent over a decade in Pakistan jails.
Of them, Shahabuddin from Poonch is returning home after 17 long years, Parvez Ahmed of Kashmir valley after 15 years and Mangal Singh from Jammu has come back after spending 13 years in Pakistani jails.
All of them had strayed inadvertently into the Pakistan territory and were caught by the Rangers.
Pakistani Rangers handed over the repatriation papers to BSF officials. The civil officials were also present to verify and sign the papers.
The fishermen would be handed over, after medical examination, to Gujarat police personnel who are already here to escort them back to Gujarat by train.
UNI XC-HS JN BP1737