Fishermen released from Pak jail meet AP CM

Amaravati, Jan 8 (PTI) The 20 fishermen belonging to Andhra Pradesh, who were set free by Pakistan after a 14-month detention, met Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy at his residence here on Wednesday and thanked him for the efforts to secure their release.

The fishermen, who were released from a Pakistani jail on Sunday in a goodwill gesture amid tense bilateral ties, crossed over to the Indian side through the Attari-Wagah border on Monday The fishermen were handed over to Indian authorities at Wagah border on Monday night and they reached Amaravati on Wednesday via New Delhi.

Fisheries minister Mopidevi Venkata Ramana, who received the fishermen, brought them to the Chief Minister.

Of the 20, 15 belonged to Srikakulam district and five to East Godavari.

Two more fishermen hailing from East Godavari district still remained in Pakistan custody, sources said.

Pakistan Coast Guard nabbed the fishermen off the Gujarat coast in November 2018 and detained them in jail.

A released fisherman had said 'We were arrested at sea by the Pakistan Coast Guard for crossing over to Pakistan waters in November 2018.' The chief minister said efforts were on to secure the release of two other AP fishermen as well.

Also, steps were being taken to get the eight fishermen in Bangladesh jail released soon.

The chief minister, according to a release from his office, assured the fishermen that a special jetty would be constructed in Srikakulam district for their activities.

Steps were also being taken to build a new port at Bhavanapadu in the district.

The state government already paid Rs 2 lakh as ex-gratia to each of the fishermen families during their detention.

A monthly pension of Rs 4,500 was also being paid to the families, the chief minister added. PTI DBV BN BN