NEW DELHI — On Wednesday, India repatriated 516 Bangladeshi fishermen. Meanwhile, Indian fishing boats which were stranded and had taken shelter at Bangladesh’s Payra Port were also repatriated by Dhaka.
According to a press note, the Indian Coast Guard said that in a coordinated operation with the Bangladesh counterpart, it had successfully repatriated 516 fishermen along with 32 Indian fishing boats. These boats were stranded and had taken shelter at the Payra Port, which is approximately 135 km away from the IMBL (International Maritime Boundary Line) due to inclement weather and rough sea conditions in the Bay of Bengal.
“The coordinated response between the Coast Guard agencies of India and Bangladesh demonstrates mutual commitment for the safety of fishermen at sea and further strengthens the bilateral relationship between the two countries,” it added.
The fishing boats were escorted by Bangladesh Coast Guard Ships, Mansoor Ali and Sadhini Bangla up to the IMBL. There, they were formally handed over to the Indian Coast Guard ships Vijaya and Anmol. These boats, along with the fishermen were being escorted up to the Kakdwip harbor where they would subsequently be handed over to the State Fisheries Authorities.
It further added that this gesture on the part of the Bangladesh Coast Guard comes at a time when the visit of the delegation to India is underway for the Annual Zonal / Regional Commander’s meeting at Kolkata.
The search for the remaining 24 missing Indian fishermen is still in progress by the Bangladesh Coast Guard/Naval ships/aircraft in Bangladesh Waters. Besides these searches conducted across the IMBL in Bangladesh waters, Indian Coast Guard Ships, hovercrafts, and aircraft are also reportedly carrying out searches off the West Bengal coast and along the IMBL.