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Pakistani fisherman dies in Indian jail

Updated April 26, 2019

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The fisherfolk community is in the grip of fear and panic as more than 100 of them are languishing in Indian prisons. ─ AFP/File
The fisherfolk community is in the grip of fear and panic as more than 100 of them are languishing in Indian prisons. ─ AFP/File

KARACHI: Another Pakistani fisherman has died in an Indian jail within a month, leaving the fisherfolk community in the grip of fear and panic as more than 100 of them are languishing in Indian prisons.

The spokesman for the Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) said that they received information about the death of Sohail Rasheed from authorities on Thursday afternoon. Rasheed had been in a prison in the Indian state of Gujarat since October 2016.

The cause of death, he said, had not yet been shared by the Indian authorities. However, the news caused consternation within the fishermen community as only earlier this month 80-year-old Noorul Amin succumbed to the injuries inflicted on him by the Indian jail staff.

“He [Rasheed] was in his early 20s,” said Ghulam Rasool Sheikh, a welfare officer of the FCS, which looks after the legal and diplomatic processes for the release of Pakistani fishermen detained in India. “He has left a widow and a two-year-old son. The most tragic part of the story is that he hadn’t met his son, who was born in 2017 while the father was in jail,” he said. The officer said that they were not even informed about Rasheed’s death on time and were told that the fisherman had died some three or four days ago.

He said the FCS on directives of its chairman Abdul Berr had already initiated the process to bring back the body, but it could take at least four to five days. The deceased, he said, was a resident of Mohammadi Colony in Maripur area.

“The FCS in correspondence with the Indian authorities has sought early release of our fishermen but in vain so far,” said FCS chairman Berr.

Published in Dawn, April 26th, 2019