Ahmedabad, Aug 27: The 337 Indian fishermen, who were released from Pakistan on Friday, were given a rousing welcome when they arrived at Palanpur in Banaskantha district of Gujarat by a train on Monday.
The fishermen from Gujarat, including eight juveniles, were handed over to the Indian authorities at Attari- Wagah border on August 24. They had been arrested by the Maritime Security Agency for crossing into Pakistani waters near the Sir Creek had completed their jail terms.
People gathered in large numbers at the Palanpur station to welcome the fishermen, who came by Jammu Tawi Express. "The fishermen boarded the train from Firozpur in Punjab in the wee hours on Sunday," K B Thakor, Superintendent of Fisheries in Porbandar, who accompanied them, said.
Talking to the media, these fishermen, lodged in Karachi jails, said they were happy to be back home and reunite with their families. However, some of them expressed unhappiness over the continuing incarceration of their 98 colleagues in Pakistan even after completion of their sentences due to lack of documents.
They requested the Central Government to look into the matter and ensure their release. "The Indian fishermen were kept in separate cells, which were overcrowded. Nearly 80 fishermen were kept in one cell," 40-year-old Rafique Ibrahim Baloch from Rajkot said. "However, they were provided with TV sets, where they watched Hindi movies and news," he added.
Later, the fishermen left for their respective native places.