Reportage: Prasanna D Zore in Diu | Photographs: Sanjay Sawant
A girl in her early teens opened the door informing the policeman her father was not home. Her polka-dotted frock is frayed all over, her hair dishevelled and she looks like she had not bathed for days.
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Her father, she says, could be found farming on a small plot of land some 200 metres away where he now grows carrot, brinjal, radish and bajra. When the policeman asks her to call her father she walks towards the farm and returns with her father, wearing a dark red trouser and a striped shirt, in tow, ten minutes later.
The policeman tells the girl's father that we have come from Mumbai to meet him. A smile crosses his face and he brings three chairs from inside his two-room house and asks us to sit down.
"I swear to God I will never again steer a ship again," is how the man in dark red trousers, tandel -- as the captain of a fishing boat is called in these parts -- Dhanji Karsan, expresses his fear of taking to the sea again.
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Karsan, 39, who has sired seven children aged between 10 and 20, was arrested by Pakistan's Maritime Agency -- he calls them the Pakistani navy -- on October 16, 2005 when the boat he was helming crossed into "Pakistani waters."
"When we dropped anchor and spread our net somewhere off Jakhau we saw the Indian Navy (actually, the Coast Guard) near us," says Karsan about the turn of events that fateful day. He remembers seeing Jakhau port in the distance from where they anchored the previous day.
Image: Tandel Dhanji Karsan outside his home in Diu. He was arrested by the Pakistan Maritime Agency for tresspassing into Pakistani waters and spent two years in a prison in Karachi.
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