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Pakistan releases 100 jailed Indian fishermen

By Nairita Das

Karachi, Aug.30 (ANI): Pakistan released 100 Indian nationals on Monday, as the first batch of the 442 Indian fishermen languishing in a jail in Karachi.

Arrested and convicted for illegally entering Pakistani waters, these fishermen were released from Malir Jail in Karachi today.

They will be repatriated on Tuesday through Wagah border.

The move came after human rights activists fought a legal battle in the Supreme Court against their unlawful detention.

According to B M Kutty, a representative of the NGO Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research, that works for the release of prisoners, a group of 100 fishermen emerged from the jail at 8 am and began their journey towards Lahore.

The fishermen travelled to Lahore in two buses with a 20-strong police escort.

Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum, had filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the release of all fishermen who have completed their prison terms.

Outside the prison, many of the fishermen embraced members of the two NGOs and thanked them for campaigning for their release.

Most of the fishermen had been detained for up to three years even after completing their sentences ranging from six months to a year.

A notificiation of the Home Department of the Sindh Government on Saturday stated that the second batch of 100 fishermen would be released on September 2, the third batch of 101 on September 4 and the last batch of 141 on September 6.

Each batch would be repatriated through Wagah a day after their release from prison, it further stated.

Though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) had informed the court that 456 of the 582 Indian fishermen in Pakistan prisons had completed their sentence, the release orders of only 442 have been issued as yet. (ANI)

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