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2 fishermen released by Pakistan reach Gujarat, hospitalised

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June 30, 2018 19:36


Two fishermen from Gujarat, who were released from a Pakistan jail on Friday, reached Ahmedabad today afternoon and were immediately rushed to the local civil hospital for treatment.

The fishermen- Danabhai Arjanbhai Chauhan from Paldi in Una tehsil of Gir Somnath district and Ramabhai Gohil from Kanzotar in Sutrapada tehsil in Saurashtra- were released from a Pakistan prison yesterday evening, the official said.

"Pakistan rangers handed over both these fishermen to the Border Security Force at Wagah border last evening. Thereafter, Amritsar District Collector got them admitted to a city-based hospital for treatment," Kiran Dave, an official of the state fisheries department, said.

"We received the two fishermen at midnight in Amritsar after completing all the formalities. Considering their health condition, we decided to fly them back to Gujarat," he added.

While Chauhan is suffering from cancer, Gohil had an attack of paralysis while in prison and is wheelchair-bound.

Dave said that after initial treatment at Ahmedabad Civil Hospital, Chauhan will be taken to his native Paldi village as his family members want him to recuperate in the confines of his home.

Dave added that Gohil's kin, however, wanted him to be treated at the Ahmedabad Civil Hospital and several of them had left from their village in Sutrapada tehsil to be with Gohil.

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel told PTI that the state government would ensure that the two fishermen get the best medical treatment.

Fishing community leaders, including Veljibhai Masani, chaiman of the Gujarat Fisheries Central Cooperatives Association, and Sunil Gohil reached the hospital to meet Chauhan and Gohil.

Chauhan was apprehended by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency for allegedly entering the neighbouring country's waters on May 3, 2017 while Gohil was nabbed earlier, on March 4, 2017.

The External Affairs Ministry had informed the Commissioner of Fisheries, Gujarat, about their imminent release. The ministry had asked the commissioner to make arrangements for their transport back to the state.

Talking to PTI over phone from Amritsar, Chauhan said, "Both of us were kept in a separate cell in a Karachi jail in Pakistan and did not get the required medical help. Despite my serious illness, I was asked to do tasks like watering a garden and cleaning utensils."

"Now, I am very happy and delighted to be back in my country," he said and thanked Swaraj for his release.

Chauhan's wife, Rudiben, had written to Swaraj last month seeking help to bring back her ailing husband.  -- PTI

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