Vadodara, Jun 5 (IANS): Over 200 Indian fishermen, who were in Pakistan jails, returned to their homeland in Vadodara on Sunday night.
Arriving via a special train from the Wagah border, these fishermen were warmly welcomed by their loved ones and local authorities, marking the end of their years-long separation.
Among the released fishermen, 129 hailed from the Gir Somnath district, 31 from Devbhoomi Dwarka, two from Junagadh, five from Navsari, and four from Porbandar. These individuals had been detained in Pakistani jails, but now, they were reunited with their families, bringing waves of joy throughout Gujarat.
This homecoming is the result of efforts by both the state and central governments. The journey of these fishermen began when they were captured by Pakistani authorities between 2019 and 2022 while carrying out their fishing activities in the Arabian Sea. Their time in captivity was filled with numerous challenges, but through diplomatic channels and the benevolence of the Pakistani government, they were granted their freedom.
A grand reception was organised at the Vadodara Railway station to celebrate the fishermen's return.
The homecoming of these fishermen is a moment of celebration for Gujarat and a reminder of the humanitarian efforts undertaken to ensure their safe return. The fishermen were brought to the Wagah border near Amritsar, India, by Pakistani authorities and then handed over to the Indian authorities. Extensive medical examinations and verifications were conducted to ensure their well-being.
A team from the state's fisheries department and the police also accompanied them at the Wagah border. Subsequently, these 200 fishermen were transported to Vadodara by private buses, which facilitated their smooth journey back to their homeland.