Foreign fishermen who stray into India’s territorial waters in Andhra Pradesh and are apprehended will now be repatriated in the shortest possible time.
The state government has set up a three-tier system to quickly release captured fishermen, cargo, boats and crew to maintain good relationship with neighbouring countries and other countries in consultation with the Centre.
As per the new time frame, FIR has to be filed immediately and the fisherman if found innocent will be repatriated within 30 days of capture.
In order to evolve an efficient procedure to streamline the release the state government has proposed to institutionalise a Joint Interrogation Committee mechanism to take measures for the release and repatriation of such fishermen if they have no incriminating evidence with them.
Apprehended fishermen are booked by state police under the Foreigners Act and are imprisoned for a period of 6 to 12 months by orders of the respective courts besides being penalised for 25,000 - 50,000 rupees.