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Rescued fishermen meet Jagan, expresses happiness

Rescued fishermen meet Jagan, expresses happiness
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Twenty fishermen from Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts who languished in Pakistan jail for 14 months

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Amaravati: Twenty fishermen from Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts who languished in Pakistan jail for 14 months, have finally reached Andhra Pradesh and met Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Wednesday. Standing by the fishermen, the Chief Minister offered Rs 5 lakhs to each fisherman as financial assistance.

Jagan interacted with the fishermen and enquired about their hardships. He assured the fishermen that a jetty and harbour will be provided in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts so that they need not go to other States like Gujarat for labour work.

"It is sad to know that nearly 15,000 people are going to Gujarat to work as labour, despite having a vast coastline in our state. Soon, a jetty for the fishermen will be provided in Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts. Also, those fishermen languishing in jail of Bangladesh will also be brought to the State at the earliest possible.", announced Chief Minister on this occasion.

"We never had a hope of getting released from Pakistan jail and see our families in this lifetime, we can't even thank even for the Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy for his effort to bring back us to our motherland. We shall remember him in our prayers for this entire life," said the fishermen who were released from Pakistan jail and thanked Jagan with tears of joy.

As many as 22 fishermen from Vizianagaram, Srikakulam and East Godavari districts who went fishing in November 2018. Accidentally, they went into the Pakistan waters and were detained by the Pakistan government and later sent to Karachi Jail. Over this, the State government constantly persuaded with the External Affairs Ministry for the release of fishermen. Finally, after 14 months, 20 out of 22 stranded fishermen were released from Pakistan on January 6 and reached AP on Wednesday.

18-year-old Surada Kishore, from Etcherla Mandal of Srikakulam district, said, "We lost in the sea while fishing and landed in Karachi jail of Pakistan. We lost all our hopes after knowing that we are arrested by the Pakistani Navy. The days are passing by and all other fishermen are getting released. Our only communication with the family was through letters. In jail, we were made to work very hard, especially those from India were made to work even harder. Today I am very happy and can't thank enough for the Chief Minister for his effort to bring us back to our State. I wanted to study with the amount provided by the Chief Minister."

Bade Appanna, another fisherman stated that there are two main reasons for their migration. First, there are no facilities in the State for fishing, jetty, harbour, cold storages, proper marketplace. In the second, because of all the primary problems, the fishermen or business people unable to sell their product at high prices, which led to losses. He observed that, if the government could solve these problems, there would be no need to migrate for fishing. He added that fish available very near in our coast when compared to the coasts in Gujarat and other states. The only thing is, the AP is unable to tap its real seafood produce potential.

Minister for Animal Husbandry and Fisheries Mopidevi Venkata Ramana and Special Chief Secretary Poonam Malakondaiah received the fishermen at Wagah border on Tuesday and brought them to the State by air.

"It is a great moment for the fishermen. With the constant effort from the State government, they were able to get released. Today from across the country almost 400 fishermen were languishing in the jails of Pakistan and Bangladesh. The efforts are of our government able to free the fishermen of our state. The previous government failed to free these stranded fishermen but Jagan achieved it with just six months of the ruling. From now on better facilities for fishermen will be provided in our state itself so that they needn't go for other States for work." stated Venkata Ramana.

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