A file photo of Indian fisherman. Photo: Reuters
A file photo of Indian fisherman. Photo: Reuters

Indian fisherman killed in firing from an unidentified boat off Gujarat coast

Officials say probe is underway and it would be premature to draw any conclusion at this stage

Ahmedabad/New Delhi: An Indian fisherman was on Friday killed in firing from an unidentified boat at his vessel off the Gujarat coast even as the local fishermen association blamed the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (MSA) for the attack.

Indian fisherman Iqbal, 40, succumbed to his injuries after being hit by a bullet on right collar bone. Giving details, the Coast Guard said its ship Vijit intercepted a VHF (very high frequency) call at 9:30am seeking assistance from an Indian fishing boat which was being fired upon by an “unidentified boat 10 NM (18.56 kms) across notional International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL)".

Two ships Vijit and Meera Behn — which were on patrol duty, were immediately diverted towards the position of incident to investigate and render assistance. A Dornier aircraft was also pressed into action to carry out aerial surveillance.

“Vijit effected rendezvous with the boat and ascertained that the firing incident had resulted in the death of a fisherman. The remaining crew is safe," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

The fishing vessel is being brought back to Okha in Gujarat. Asked about the alleged involvement of Pakistan’s MSA, the official said a probe is underway and it would be premature to draw any conclusion at this stage.

The firing took place near the International Maritime Boundary Line (IMBL), Secretary of National Fishworkers’ Forum (NFF) Manish Lodhari said, adding Pakistan’s MSA was behind the attack.

“Iqbal was among six fishermen on the boat that had ventured into the sea from Okha port in Devbhoomi Dwarka district," he said.

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