The body of a fisherman, who died in a Karachi jail in September this year, reached his native village at Una in Gujarat on Saturday. Nanubhai Solanki was arrested by Pakistani Maritime Security in November 2017. He was ailing for some time before his death on September 20.
"Solanki was from the Una tehsil of Gujarat’s Gir Somnath district. His body was kept at Edhi Foundation's morgue in Karachi for a couple of months. It is expected to be sent back to India to his family on November 29," Pakistan India Peoples' Forum for Peace and Democracy activist Jatin Desai had said.
Gujarat: Body of Nanubhai Kanabhai Solanki, a fisherman who died in Karachi Jail, Pakistan in September this year, reached his native village in Una yesterday. Nanubhai Solanki was arrested by Pakistani Maritime Security in November 2017. pic.twitter.com/Fd8KVjZULQ— ANI (@ANI) December 2, 2018
"Both countries need to work out a mechanism through which - if someone dies in the custody of the other country - his body should be immediately returned to his country. The sad reality is it takes minimum one month for this process. In Solanki's case, it took over two months," Desai added.
Ahead of the Independence Day this year, Pakistan released 30 Indian prisoners, including 27 fishermen, from jail as a goodwill gesture on August 14. The release of the prisoners "is in line with Pakistan's consistent policy of not politicising humanitarian issues," Foreign Office Spokesperson Mohammad Faisal had said. The 30 prisoners who were set free also include 27 fishermen, it added. "This is a humanitarian gesture to mark Pakistan's Independence Day on August 14," he said. "It is our hope that the Indian side will also reciprocate in a similar manner," he said.
Over 470 Indians, including 418 fishermen, are detained in Pakistani jails, according to a government report submitted before the country's Supreme Court in July. In August, it was reported that the fishermen had been arrested by the authorities for allegedly trespassing into Pakistan's territorial waters. They were shifted to Cantt Railway Station from Karachi's Malir jail and were taken to Lahore. The fishermen were handed over to Indian border officials at Wagah border. Pakistan and India frequently arrest fishermen as there is no clear demarcation of the maritime border in the Arabian Sea and these fishermen do not have boats equipped with the technology to know their precise location.
(With agency inputs)