India has banned its citizens from taking up jobs in fishing vessels moving towards Iran from three Gulf countries, including the UAE.
India’s Protector General of Emigrants has issued an advisory against recruitment of Indian emigrants “on fishing vessels and trawlers which may be moving from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE towards Iran, till further notice, as it may lead to their possible detention, arrest or even endanger their lives”.
The advisory stated that “instances have been reported to the Indian missions/posts abroad wherein Indian fishermen, working on foreign fishing vessels, have been detained/arrested by the Iranian authorities”.
It pointed out that Iran’s coastguard has been assigned the job of checking and apprehending vessels entering Iranian territorial waters.
All registered recruiting agents have been advised not to process cases of employment or engagement of Indian emigrants and workers on fishing vessels or trawlers moving towards Iran from these three Gulf countries.
All Protectors of Emigrants have also been advised to be cautious in granting emigration clearance and “to ensure that no application seeking issue of emigration clearance for work on fishing vessels or trawlers moving towards Iranian waters from Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and UAE is granted”.
Navdeep Singh Suri, Indian Ambassador to the UAE, said the advisory is a pre-emptive measure to protect Indian fishermen.
“We have had cases of fishermen straying into Iranian waters and other waters and getting arrested and staying in difficult conditions to combat the smuggling of commodities,” he said.
The envoy said the Indian government is using different channels to spread the message in the fishing community that is spread across various places.
The advisory was issued to Protectors of Emigrants; recruitment agencies; missions concerned; Directorate General of Shipping; Bureau of Immigration; Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran (PAI) Division of the Ministry of External Affairs; South Indian Federation of Fishermen Societies; Indian Fishermen Association; and e-Migrate website, the recruitment portal.