KARACHI: Malir Jail authorities on Monday released the first batch of 100 Indian fishermen who were languishing in the prisons of the southern Sindh province despite having served their sentence. Two children were among those released.
The authorities will also release 342 more Indian fishermen in separate batches on September 3, 5 and 7.
The freedom of these men became possible after two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) - Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER) and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) - won a legal battle in the Supreme Court to secure the release of 442 Indian prisoners, who were being kept in prison even though their sentence had been served. The Pakistani authorities had ordered the release of these prisoners on August 28.
The released fishermen will be taken to Lahore in two buses arranged by the Pakistani government and handed over to the Indian authorities at Wagah border.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2010.
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