Release of Indian fishermen caught by Pakistan and Sri Lanka

New Delhi,On 26 May 2014, just prior to the visit of Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif to India, Government of Pakistan released 150 Indian fishermen. In the first six months of the current year (1st January-12th July) Government of Sri Lanka has released 532 Indian fishermen. 
Presently, 249 fishermen believed to be Indian continue to remain lodged in jails in Pakistan (as on 1 July 2014), while 4 Indian fishermen are in the custody of the Sri Lankan authorities (as on 12 July 2014).

Government continuously monitors the status of all Indian prisoners and Indian fishermen in Pakistani jails and regularly takes up the issue of their early release and repatriation with the Pakistan authorities. There is also an India-Pakistan Judicial Committee that visits the jails of both countries regularly to ensure the welfare and early release and repatriation of prisoners and fishermen who have completed their sentences. In respect of Sri Lanka, in 2004 an India-Sri Lanka Joint Working Group (JWG) was established which has been dealing with all issues related to straying Indian fishermen in Sri Lankan waters, including working out the modalities for prevention of use of force against them and securing early release of their confiscated boats.

Governments will continue to take all the necessary steps required to ensure the early release and repatriation of Indian fishermen currently being held in the custody of Pakistan and Sri Lankan authorities.This information was given by the Minister of External Affairs & Overseas Indian Affairs Shrimati Sushma Swaraj in Rajya Sabha.
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