KARACHI - As many as 28 Indian fishermen were apprehended along with their fishing boats by Pakistani security forces while they were busy in fishing illegally in the country’s territorial waters in the Arabian Sea.

The arrests were made by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency. According to the agency’s spokesperson, the PMSA carried out an operation in the open sea during which the agency arrested 28 Indian fishermen and seized five of their vessels for illegal fishing, adding that the arrested fishermen were handed over to the Docks police for further legal action.

Docks police officials confirmed that the PMSA has handed their custody over to the police, adding that the cases against them under foreign and fisheries acts have been registered against them while the arrested Indian fishermen would be presented before a court today (Saturday).

Every year dozens of Indian and Pakistani fishermen are picked up in the Arabian Sea after straying across maritime borders. They often languish in prison even after serving their sentences, as poor diplomatic relations between the bitter nuclear foes hamper the bureaucracy.

Hundreds of Indian fishermen are already imprisoned at the District Jail Malir, who were arrested for fishing illegally into Pakistani waters. Some 291 Indian fishermen are likely to be release on humanitarian grounds in two phases starting from next week. Earlier this month, 43 Indian fishermen were arrested and their fishing vessels seized for entering Pakistan’s territorial waters.

Aircrafts and speedboats were used in the operation, which was conducted near Pakistan’s maritime border in the Arabian Sea.