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New Delhi [India], Dec 13 (ANI): YSR Congress Party national general secretary V. Vijaysai Reddy on Thursday appealed to External Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj to ensure that the Pakistan government expedites the release of 20 fishermen from Andhra Pradesh who were recently apprehended by the Pakistan coastal guard.

In a letter to the EAM, Reddy said that 20 fishermen from the Srikakulam and Vizianagaram districts of Andhra Pradesh were employed as crew members for fishing operations in coastal waters off the coast of Gujarat. Out of the 20 fishermen, 15 are residents of Srikakulam district and rest hail from Vizianagaram district, the YSR Congress national general secretary added.

"It is said that on 28.11.2018, the 20 fishermen in three boats had involuntarily and accidentally entered into the Pakistan territorial Marine waters, as a result of the non-functioning of GPS system. The Pakistan Coast Guards have seized three boats and apprehended 20 fishermen," Reddy said in the letter.

He further stated that two more persons have been reported missing, however, it needs to be cross-checked with the total number of people the Pakistan coastal guard has apprehended.

"I, therefore, request the Hon'ble Minister for External Affairs, Government of India to deal and correspond with the Government of Pakistan for safe release of the 20 apprehended fishermen belonging to Andhra Pradesh, as per the law of international territorial waters of the sea, between the countries," Reddy added in the letter.

He also requested Swaraj to meet a few family members of the fishermen who have "expressed their desire to meet the Hon'ble Minister and explain the details of the incident and seek help for early release from Pakistan". (ANI)

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