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In a Gujarat fishing village, India-Pakistan tensions take huge toll by Betwa Sharma July 03,2012   |  Source: India.blogs.nytimes.com

Until three out of her five sons were imprisoned in Pakistan for breaching the maritime border while fishing, Babiben Mandan Majethiya and her daughters-in-law had no idea that Pakistan even existed.

These women, who never went to school, still don't know about the partition or the wars fought between India and Pakistan. "I only know my sons would never do anything wrong," Mrs Majethiya had cried when they were locked up.

After one year in prison, the three men came home on the evening of July 1. When reached by phone on Sunday night, Mrs Majethiya had just finished cooking them a warm meal and tucking them into bed. "After so long, I will sleep peacefully and my heart will begin to mend," she said. "But I will never let them go back to sea."

Mrs Majethiya lives in Dandi, a small coastal village of Gujarat state in its Junagadh district, where several families are missing men who have been arrested by Pakistan for crossing the maritime border while fishing in the Arabian Sea. Many of them sail from Porbandar, the main port town and the birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, which is about a five-hour drive from the rural hamlet of about 60 families.

A large number of arrests happen around Sir Creek, a disputed 100-kilometer (60-mile) marshland that divides Gujarat and


© NDTV Convergence Limited 2012

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