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May 07, 2013 at 09:08am IST

Gujarat: Families of Indian fishermen in Pak jails worried

Ahmedabad: The attack on Pakistani prisoner Sanaullah Haq happened just after Indian prisoner Sarabjit Singh succumbed to his injuries from an attack in a Lahore prison. Human rights activists fear these prisoners are caught in a no man's land.

Sixty-year old Ukardiben is struggling to make ends meet. Her son Sunilal and son-in-law Vijay, both fishermen, have been in a Pakistan jail for the past eight months, after straying into Pakistani waters. With several mouths to feed, the woman barely manages, doing odd jobs like making ropes.

"We have to take care of and educate these kids. How is it possible? There are not even Rs 5 in the house. People are not willing to even lend money on interest," Ukardiben Bamaniya said.

Thousands of Gujarati fishermen risk entering Pakistani waters on the high seas, where international borders are unclear. Currently 650 fishermen are lodged in various Pakistani jails. News of Sarabjit's killing in jail has added to the worries of these families.

In neighbouring Wanakbara, Amrit Solanki waits for her husband Ratna and son Yogesh. All she knows is they were arrested off the Jhakhau coast in January and are in a Pakistan jail. But there has been no news after that. "I don't get sleep at night. I want my son and husband back. I don't care about the boat but my son and husband should return," Amrit said.

It's been a double blow for these distraught fishermen families. Their loved ones are languishing in Pakistani jails and the only source of income has been cut off.

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