Highlights

Kuldeep Yadav returned home after spending 28 years in Pakistan’s jail.
Went to Pakistan in March 1991, got a life sentence in 1996.
Kuldeep was not in touch with his family since 2013.

Ahmedabad. Kuldeep Yadav, 59, is staring at the smartphone as if it were a gadget dropped from another planet. He turns it upside down and tries to understand how it works. After spending 28 years in a Pakistani jail on charges of espionage, it has now been 7 days since he came home. Kuldeep was not in touch with his family since 2013. Then there were different rules for Indian citizens in Pakistani jails and they were not allowed to meet with families.

Slender Yadav wearing a Pathani suit is sitting in his house in Ahmedabad. He says that I am still molding myself in the environment here. When I reached Ahmedabad, my family could not come to pick me up, so I was lost. I could not even recognize the roads, streets outside my house. There are children in my family whom I have not even seen till date.

Was sent to Pakistan in 1991
On the other hand, Kuldeep’s family does not want to talk about him before going to jail. Based on the information given by his sister in a petition in the Gujarat High Court, Yadav was appointed by the Border Security Force to conduct Raw Military Intelligence in Ahmedabad in 1991. Later he was deputed to Delhi. After that he was sent to Pakistan. He was arrested in Pakistan on 22 June 1994 and after 30 months of interrogation, he was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment by the military court of Pakistan.

Yadav says that on October 27, 1996, the charge was framed against him. According to him, he was to be released on 26 October 2021. But for the release of Indians from Pakistan jail, the prisoners have to give their full address of their home to send them back to India after the completion of their sentence. After this the High Commission investigates it. Once India has given approval, then the Government of Pakistan is informed about it. The prisoners are then given a date to appear in the Supreme Court of Pakistan.

Release order was given on June 24, 2022
Yadav says that I was produced in the court on June 24, 2022 and orders for my release were given. The order was sent to the Government of Pakistan, which was then sent to the Indian High Commission. Because of this paperwork, Yadav had to stay in jail for 10 more months.

The India-Pakistan Judicial Committee for Prisoners, consisting of retired judges from India and Pakistan. who visited the jails of Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore and the Jinnah Hospital in Lahore where Sarabjit was admitted between 26 April and 1 May 2013. It was found here that Indian prisoners who were facing espionage charges were kept in separate rooms of the jail.

Sarabjit was his good friend
Yadav says that Sarabjit was his good friend but our barracks were different, as he was sentenced to death. Earlier there was a provision that a prisoner could meet another prisoner in 15 days by seeking permission. He often asked for permission to meet me. However, all this changed after Sarabjit’s death. With this all correspondence was stopped and I could not even write a letter at my home. On the other hand food and health facilities were better. Sarabjit, who was sentenced to death on charges of terrorism and espionage, was attacked by other inmates of the jail, days after which he died in May 2013.

He got the news of the death of Kuldeep’s father Nanakchand in November 1999 in August 2000. During this several letters were written but no message reached Kuldeep.

In 2007, Kuldeep’s mother Mayadevi and her four siblings approached the Gujarat High Court demanding the release of Kuldeep from Kot Lakhpat Jail in Pakistan and an interim compensation of Rs 5 lakh from the Ministry of External Affairs. In April 2008, the Gujarat High Court announced compensation and in 2014 asked the Government of Pakistan to look into the petitioner’s application.

In 2014, Kuldeep’s sister Rekha moved the Gujarat High Court demanding ex-gratia amount and an additional 5 lakh compensation. In 2018, a division bench asked the government to look into the appointment of Rekha on compassionate grounds as an exception. On December 2018, she got the appointment orders, now she is working as a nurse with the Jodhpur Border Security Force.

Tags: Ahmedabad, BSF jawan, Pakistan Jail

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