Kolkata: The Indian Coast Guard in a coordinated operation with its Bangladesh counterpart has successfully repatriated 516 fishermen and 32 Indian fishing boats from Bangladesh.
On the other hand, search for 24 more Indian fishermen is in progress and Bangladesh has pressed in its Navy ships and aircraft to look for them in its waters.
Simultaneously, the Indian Coast Guard ships, hovercraft, and aircraft are carrying out search off the West Bengal coast.
The fishermen and the boats had taken shelter at Payra Port in Bangladesh, approximately 135-km from the international maritime boundary line (IMBL) due to rough sea conditions in the Bay of Bengal in West Bengal.
The fishing boats were today 16 July escorted by two Bangladesh Coast Guard ships ~ Mansoor Ali and Sadhin Bangla ~ up to the IMBL where they were formally handed over to Indian Coast Guard ships Vijaya and Anmol.
The boats, along with the fishermen, were then escorted up to Kakdwip in South 24-Parganas for handing over to the Bengal fisheries department officials.
This friendly gesture comes at a time when a delegation of the Bangladesh Coast Guard is on a visit to Kolkata for the annual regional commanders meeting.
The deliberations focused on maritime security and cooperation is underway from 15-18 July.