Indian diplomat meets prisoners in Karachi jail


Close on the heels of mysterious death of an Indian fisherman, an Indian diplomat has visited prisoners, most of them fishermen, held in a jail in Karachi to gain first-hand knowledge about their condition, sources said.

Though what the prisoners told the diplomat was not immediately known, the sources said the recent death of the Indian fisherman figured in the interactions.

The prisoners at Landhi jail were given a box of sweets and basic amenities like soap, detergent and toothpaste, they said. Fishermen Kishore Bhagwan died at Landhi Jail on February 4 reportedly of an illness but the report of his autopsy has not yet been made available to the Indian authorities.

On December 19, another Indian fisherman Bhikha Laka Shiyal, 35, died in a jail in Karachi and the cause of his death too is yet to be established. Bhagwan was among over 50 Indian fishermen arrested for allegedly entering Pakistan’s exclusive economic zone in January last year.

He escaped from jail a month later while cleaning the main gate of the facility and was recaptured in December last year. Pakistani media reports quoted police as saying that he lived on the roads of Karachi after his escape. According to lists of prisoners exchanged by India and Pakistan on January 1, there are 281 Indian prisoners in Pakistan while 396 Pakistanis are being held in Indian jails. The list provided by the Pakistani side said there were 232 Indian fishermen and 49 civilians in the country’s jails.