Vadodara: Bodies of two fishermen from Gujarat, who died in a Pakistani jail months ago, will be finally sent to India on April 14, a top State Fisheries official said on Tuesday.
The bodies will be arriving at the Mumbai airport from where they will be taken to their native in Gir Somnath district of Gujarat for the last rites.
After receiving a communication in this regard from the Indian High Commisioner's office in Islamabad yesterday, the state government has decided to send two of its fisheries department officials with an ambulance to Mumbai tomorrow to bring the bodies," Mohammed A Narmavala, Gujarat Fisheries Commissioner told PTI.
The two fishermen were identified as Vaaga Bijal Chauhan, a native of Dandi village, and Ratandas Makwana, who hailed from Nanavada village--both in Gir Somnath district.
Chauhan died on December 22, 2015 while Makwana passed away on February 8, 2016 while being lodged in a Pakistani jail. Both were caught in April last year when their boats allegedly entered territorial waters of Pakistan while fishing in Sir Creek area in the Arabian Sea.
All the required formalities including post-mortem on both the bodies will be conducted in Islamabad tomorrow and the bodies will be despatched by air from Karachi on April 14, the official said.
There has been mounting pressure for long from families of the deceased fishermen besides MPs and NGOs, who had sought Centre's intervention to bring home the bodies of the two fishermen.
Also, Veljibhai Masani, senior vice-president of Gujarat Fishermen Association, Rajesh Chudasama, BJP MP from Junagadh, and Parimal Nathwani, Independent member of Rajya Sabha, had requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the process of bringing back the bodies of the fishermen from Pakistan so that their families are able to perform the last rites.
According to Nathwani, Chauhan's body has been lying in a morgue in Pakistan since his death on 22nd December.
"This is causing much worry to his son Suresh and wife Lekhiben, who is bed-ridden for a long time ever since her husband left on a fishing mission in April 2015," he had said in a statement.
Meanwhile, speaking to PTI, Suresh said, "I suspected some wrongdoing and mystery behind my father's death in Pakistani jail and my fears came true when some of the 172 released fishermen from Pakistan last month as a goodwill gesture, on their return, alleged ill-treatment.Or else why it took 114 days to bring the body of my father from Pakistan".