Vadodara: A woman from Gir Somnath district of Gujarat on Tuesday wrote a letter to external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking help for bringing back her fisherman husband who is in a Pakistani prison and is suffering from cancer.
Rudiben Chauhan (32), resident of Paldi in Una tehsil, told PTI that her husband Danabhai Chauhan (35) has been languishing in a jail in the neighbouring country for over a year.
Chauhan and five other fishermen from Gujarat were apprehended by the Pakistan Maritime Security Agency near the Jakhau port in Kutch district on May 3, 2017 for allegedly entering the Pakistani waters. Their boat, “Sagar Sonu”, was also seized.
Speaking to PTI, Rudiben Chauhan said her husband called his nephew from a hospital in Pakistan three days ago, and said he was suffering from cancer and he must return to India for better treatment.
“My husband said he does not want to die in Pakistani jail,” she said.
The couple has four daughters and a son.
In her letter to Swaraj, Rudiben said it was the responsibility of the jail authorities in Pakistan to inform the family about her husband’s disease, but they failed to do so.
Nor did she receive any communication from the ministry of external affairs or the Indian High Commission about her husband’s condition, she said.
“I seek your help for doing the needful,” Chauhan wrote to Swaraj.
Since her husband was captured by the Pakistani authorities she is working as a labourer to feed her children, the eldest of whom is 12 years old and the youngest is one and a half years old, she said.
“I earn Rs 100 a day which is not enough to feed my children,” she wrote in the letter.
Rajya Sabha member Parimal Nathwani, who hails from Gir Somnath district, and Veljibhai Masani, vice president of the Gujarat Fishermen’s Association (GFA), told PTI that they too have written separate letters to the external affairs minister, requesting her to bring back Chauhan in view of his health.
According to the GFA, 415 Indian fishermen are in Pakistani jails at present for allegedly crossing the international maritime border illegally.