Wagah border, August 15, : Pakistan today released 34 Indian fishermen and a resident of Jammu, who had completed their jail terms in Pakistani jails, from Attari land border.
The released fishermen were caught for entering the Pakistan side in the high sea by Pakistan coastal guards.
The released prisoners, on entering the Indian side through the Attari border, bowed to the motherland. They took the national flags from the Border Security Force jawans and fluttered them amidst shouting slogans of 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' (praise to the motherland).
Though visibly delighted after their release from Pakistani jail, the fishermen expressed their anxiousness for the pitiable condition their fellow beings still were in Karachi's Landi Jail. They urged the mailpersons to raise their issue so they could also seek freedom.
"It is a double delight for us, we are released on the same day when India got freedom " said one of the released fishermen, who was overjoyed with the thought of meeting his family and getting Rakhi tied by his sister this time.
"There are around 400 fishermen in the Landi jail . Many of them were sick and under-nourished. Due to unhygienic condition of jail, many fishermen occasional fall ill and were admitted to hospital. But the mediocre medical treatment fail to prevent them from falling sick again, he added.
"When I was arrested by Pak coastal guards, I was told that I was being sentenced to three months. But I had to spend 18 months in jail," he said.
Kiran Suresh, another released fishermen, told because there was no demarcation of international boundary in the high sea where they go for fishing and with strong winds their boats were often drifted in Pakistan's territorial waters and were arrested.
"The government could save fishermen from passing through this agony by demarking the boundary in the sea. He said his boat was also seized and now he would have to find some other job," said Kiran, who spent 17 months in Landi jail.
"We have arrived after our release but there are many like us who are still languishing in the jail. They are given little food to eat and are forced to live in inhumane conditions which have also posed a threat of outbreak of some epidemic," said Bijan.
He appealed there was need to do something for the fishermen lodged in Pak jails before anything serious tragedy strikes them. By Ravinder Singh Robin