By Our Correspondent / Express Tribune : July 29, 2013
MUMBAI / KARACHI: The remains of Indian prisoner Dadubhai Makwana, who
had died in Karachi jail on July 4, were flown to Mumbai last
Thursday, almost 21 days after his death, Times of India reported.
A special ambulance dispatched by the Gujarat fisheries department
transported the body to his native village for the last rites.
Dadubhai, a 41-year-old fisherman from Ghatwad village near Kodinar,
was arrested by the Pakistani Coast Guard as he had unwittingly
trespassed into their territory during a fishing trip last year.
“Since then we have been trying to secure his freedom even as we
helped his family with a subsistence allowance of Rs150 per day.
However, we learnt that Dadubhai died in Karachi prison on July 4,
allegedly of a heart attack,” said Gujarat fisheries official J K
Rathod and his assistant KK Masani took possession of the corpse at
Sahar police station before beginning the 17-hour journey to his home.
“Dadubhai’s wife and four children back home in Kodinar are doubly
distressed by his sudden death as well as the delay in repatriating
his remains,” they said.
India-Pakistan peace activist Jatin Desai lamented the delay and said
the governments of India and Pakistan should expedite the procedure.
“Earlier, the body of Indian fisherman Ramjibhai Vala took 45 days to
be returned while that of Pakistani fisherman Nawaz Ali was sent home
after 25 days,” he said.
14 Pakistani fishermen to reach Wagah border today
Fishermen Cooperative Society (FCS) officials will receive 14
Pakistani fishermen released by Indian authorities. These all are
crews of two small boats-Al-Kabootar and Al-Madina – which were caught
by Indian coastal forces on January 7, 2013 while they were on their
routine trip to open sea for a fish catch. They were put in jails over
the common charges of violating the maritime territory.
FCS Manager Welfare Ghulam Rasool Shaikh, who deals with the matters
related to detained fishermen, said that they had received a letter
from Ministry of Interior and Pakistan High Commission in New Delhi
that 14 fishermen and eight other Pakistani citizens were being
released. The freed fishermen will cross the Wahga border on July 30,
2013, where FCS officials will receive them.
The fishermen being released include Yar Mohammed son of Soomar
Mallah, Qasim Mallah son of Laung Mallah, Ramzan son of Laung Mallah,
Hashim son of Laung Mallah, Soomar son of Laung Mallah, Abdul son of
Laung Mallah, Qadir Bakhsh son of Ibrahim Mallah, Akbar son of Hussain
mallah, Ghulam Qadir son of Pir Bakhsh, Allah Bachayo son of Hamza
Mallah, Qasim son of Hamza Mallah, Ishaq son of Hamza Mallah, Niaz son
of Malhar Mallah and Mashooq son of Yar Mohammed Mallah. They belong
to scattered villages of Ladyoon, Thatta district.
According to FCS officials, Indian Counseling identified 59 Pakistani
fishermen out of total 140 to be released before Edul Fitr a few days
ago. Later, they decided to release only 14 fishermen.
FCS Chairman Abdul Saeed Khan said they were negotiating with the
Federal Interior Ministry, Pakistan High Commission in India and Sindh
Home Ministry to see the release of all the Pakistani fishermen from
Indian jails before Eidul Fitr.
He said that they had asked Pakistan to to verify the list of 115
fishermen by talking to their (fishermen’s) parents in Karachi, Thatta
and Badin districts, which they provided.
“We are still waiting to receive any good news regarding the release
of fishermen on the auspicious occasion of Eidul Fitr,” he said.
The Pakistan government has released 1100 Indian fishermen during the
period from January 2012 to May 2013, while India has released only 94
Pakistani fishermen during the period.