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Fishermen's arrests: Gujarat MPs to meet PM

Written by: Staff

Gandhinagar, Mar 6 (UNI) Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasma today said a delegation of MPs from Gujarat is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh tomorrow to find a permanent solution to the frequent arrests of Indian fishermen and seizure of their boats by Pakistan.

Making a statemnent in response to a calling attention notice by Dr Chandrika Chudasma (Congress), he said the state government has suggested India should enter into an agreement with Pakistan on the lines of one with Sri Lanka, and hold a meeting every quarter for the exchange of fishermen.

The notice was in response to the recent arrest of 200 fishermen and seizure of 20 boats by Pakistan's Marine Security Agency.

Arjun Modhvadia, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, demanded that the governemnt should also negotiate with Pakistan for the release of fishing vessels and trawlers, which cost about Rs 15- 50 lakh each.

He said the family members of the arrested fishermen should be paid Rs 50 per day as ex-gratia payemnt.

The Minister said they have initiated a payment scheme, but it would be given only after the fisherman's identity is established.


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