With no information on kith and kin, 22 Indian prisoners languish in Pak jails
New Delhi, April 21: As India is trying its best to safely bring back its former Indian navy officer Kulbhushan Jadhav (who has been sentenced to death by Pakistan Military Court) from Pakistani jail, a report has emerged that 22 Indian prisoners, including five women, have completed their imprisonment but they are still languishing in Pakistani jails.
The Indian government has reportedly no information about kith and kin of these prisoners. The Indian embassy in Islamabad has made an appeal to public in India, to provide information about these prisoners, alongwith their photographs on their official website- http://www.india.org.pk.
The authorities in Pakistan claim that until the nationalities and exact identities of these prisoners are not established, they cannot initiate the process of their release. Some of them are said to be mentally-challeneged and are not in the condition to tell about their families and thus they are awaiting repatriation. [India 'concerned' over Jadhav's health: MEA]
Here are the details of these 22 Indian prisoners:
Details of prisoners
Left to Right from Top: Ajmeera, Baila, Birju Ram, name not known (mark of Om on the back side of his right hand's palm)
Left to Right from Bottom: Kishwa Bhagwan, Naqaya, Gullo Jan
Do they have any takers in India?
Left to Right from Top: Muhammad Qasim Mian, Panwasi Lal (from Uttar Pradesh), Rajoo Roy (from Bihar)
Left to Right from Bottom: Raju Mahuli, Roopi Pal, Sham Sundar Yadav (from Bihar)
If you have any information about them, please help them
Left to Right from Top: Siloraf Salim, Sonu Singh (from Madhya Pradesh), Surendar Mahto (from Bihar)
Left to Right from Bottom: Name not known, Ramesh, Raju (from Madhya Pradesh)
They need your help!
Left: Hasina, Top Right: Esma Maskan, Bottom Right: Prahlad Singh (from Sagar district of Madhya Pradesh)
In 2015, the Indian government had given special consular access to 17 of these prisoners, but they could not disclose any information about their families' whereabouts.
"As the government has no data of completion of sentence and national status for majority of the prisoners, it implies that numerous prisoners would have completed their sentence long back," Pradeep Kumar, an activist from Bareilly-based NGO Jagar Society, who filed an RTI seeking their release, said.
NGO Jagar has taken up the responsibility to find information about the family and relatives of these Indians. Earlier also, the same NGO turned out to be the saviour for Yashpal, a labourer from Bareilly district of Uttar Pradesh, who had trespassed into Pakistan and was lodged in the central jail of Sahiwal in Pakistan.
After serving a three-year-term,Yashpal was released in July 2013, but by that time, he lost his mental balance. Yashpal's father Babu Ram, an agricultural labourer, got to knew about his arrest when a Pakistani sent them a letter in 2012, informing them about the whereabout of their son.
In 2014, an RTI finding had revealed that Indian prisoners, who have already served their terms in Pakistani jails, are living a life of torture and brutality leading to mental illness, largely because the Indian government failed to confirm their nationality in time.
Most of the prisoners are poor and their families back home in India do not know how to take up the issue with the government.