NEW DELHI: India has lodged a strong protest with Pakistan for sinking of an Indian fishing vessel, with seven Indian fishermen on board, by Pakistan Maritime Security Agency (PMSA) on January 17. Six of these fishermen were later rescued by the Coast Guard.

The rescued fishermen told the Indian authorities that a PMSA vessel had fired upon the Indian fishing boat and later rammed and sunk the boat in the early hours of January 17, according to senior government officials. The incident happened 64 nautical miles southwest of Mitha Port of Kutch in Gujarat. One Indian fisherman is still missing.

“The Government of India condemns in the strongest term such deplorable and unprofessional act by PMSA of firing at a fishing vessel and later ramming and sinking it,” read the protest note handed over to Pakistan. “Such acts are in contravention of all international laws, conventions and established humanitarian norms and practices. Pakistan authorities are called upon to investigate this heinous act and instruct its forces to desist from such acts immediately.”

The sinking of the Indian vessel came after a series of incidents that have strained relations between the two countries. India has also complained to Pakistan about two Indian diplomats being threatened of retaliatory complaints by Pakistani security personnel, days after a woman lodged a police complaint against a Pakistan High Commission official for allegedly touching her inappropriately at a market in Delhi. Kartarpur Talks India has proposed two dates – February 26 and March 7 – for the visit of a Pakistani delegation to Delhi to discuss and finalise the modalities for Indian pilgrims’ visit to Gurdwara Kartarpur Sahib using the proposed corridor at the earliest.