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Indian fisherman dies in custody in Pakistan

Source: PTI
March 27, 2009 21:30 IST
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An Indian fisherman, who was part of a group of 74 arrested by Pakistani authorities three days ago, has died in custody, officials said.

Forty seven year old Bhambania Laka was brought dead to a state-run hospital in Karachi, officials of the Maritime Security Agency, which arrested the fishermen on Tuesday for allegedly fishing in Pakistan's territorial waters, said. Laka, a resident of Gujarat state, was reportedly seriously ill when the MSA arrested the fishermen, officials told media-persons. He died while on the way to the hospital and his body was taken to Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre for an autopsy, they said.Laka's body did not bear marks of any injury, the officials said.

The 73 other fishermen were yesterday remanded in judicial custody till April 2 by a court in Karachi. The MSA has also seized 13 boats the fishermen were using. Leading Pakistani rights activist Ansar Burney today condemned the arrest of 117 Indian fishermen within a week from Pakistani waters.Forty-three fishermen were arrested on March 22 while 74 on March 24.

Burney also questioned how Laka had died soon after his arrest. The death, he claimed, was "very suspicious" and demanded a judicial inquiry into the matter.

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