Attari/Wagah, Jul 7 (UNI) The chains came off for 51-year-old Ram Prakash, who returned home after spending ten years in Kot Lakhpat jail in Pakistan.
A resident of Jammu district, Ram Prakash was today handed over to the Indian authorities by Pakistan at this joint border checkpost.
As he crossed the Radcliffe Line, Ram Prakash heaved a sigh of relief and hugged his son, Deepak who had come to receive him. He was to come home last week but his repatriation was delayed as the Indian High Commission in Islamabad did not forward the required documents to the Pakistan authorities.
Ram Prakash had crossed over into Pakistan through the R S Pura border in J and K in late 1997 and was arrested by the Pakistan police in Sailkot in 1998. Though he claimed that he had inadvertently crossed the border but the Pakistan authorities accused him of indulging in spying and he was handed out a ten-year jail term.
He spent his jail term at the Kot Lakhpat prison in Lahore where he claimed to have met a number of Indian nationals. He alleged that Indian prisoners are illtreated in jails across the border and are at times, even tortured.
''Thank god that I have come back home alive,'' he told mediapersons at the checkpost. '' When I was arrested and thrown in jail, I lost all hope of going back,'' he added.
After signing the requisite documents at the checkpost, Ram Prakash was taken to Amritsar for a medical check up at the civil hospital. Thereafter he would be handed over to his family members.
UNI XC-HS AM KN1625