Pakistan repatriates 35 civil prisoners to India on I-day

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Attari-Wagah, Aug 15 (UNI) On the occasion of the country's 61st Independence anniversary, 35 Indian civil prisoners today tasted freedom as they returned home after being set free from prisons across the border.

These 35 prisoners, which include 34 fishermen and a mentally unstable resident of the Jammu area were handed over to the Indian authorities by Pakistani officials at this road check post this morning, a couple of hours after the Indian tricolor was hoisted here by Border Security Force (BSF) officers. The repatriation exercise was carried out in the presence of the BSF and Pakistani Rangers.

The fishermen, aged between 17 to 24 years and belonging to Gujarat and Goa returned after serving their prison sentences ranging from six months to two years. They were taken into custody by the Pakistani Coast Guard after they had strayed into Pakistani waters while fishing in the Arabian Sea.

The lone resident of the Jammu region identified as Bhola who was not even aware of Independence Day said that he was arrested by the Pakistani security agencies after he had accidentally strayed into Pak territory in the Chammb sector in Jammu and Kashmir.

The repatriated prisoners were medically examined by a team of doctors from Amritsar and were offered sweets by the BSF jawans on the occasion of I-day. They fishermen will be handed over to officials of Gujarat and Goa at Amritsar for taking them to their respective states.

UNI XC-HS BP1458

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