Thursday, May 18, 2000,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Pak hands over spy’s body
From Varinder Walia
Tribune News Service

WAGAH, May 17 — A history of sorts was created when Pakistani Rangers today handed over the body of Satpal, who was working for the military intelligence, to their Indian counterparts at the Wagah joint checkpost.

This is, perhaps, for the first time that the body of a spy had been handed over through the checkpost. Though the army and the BSF do not admit officially that the deceased was working for the Indian intelligence, the local media has been describing him as an “Indian spy”.

The deceased, Satpal, belonged to Dadwan village in Gurdaspur district.

Before handing over the body, Pakistani Rangers and BSF soldiers completed all formalities, including those of immigration and customs.

However, the father of the deceased, Mr Tejpal, failed to identify the body of his son which was mutilated beyond recognition. The body bore injury marks which spoke volumes about the torture undergone by the deceased. The body was brought to India a month and 10 days after the death. It was recognised by the brother of deceased, Dharmpal.

Mr Tejpal said Satpal had been working for the military intelligence for the past more than two decades. He said his son was “forced to leave for Pakistan last year”.

The First Secretary Indian High Commission, Mr D.R. Jatav, accompanied the Satpal’s body up to the Wagah checkpost where it was handed over to Mr Bansi Lal, Commandant, BSF at 11.45 a.m.

Satpal died on April 9 after undergoing treatment at military hospitals in Pakistan. He was severely tortured in the Gujjranwala jail for more than nine months. At the time of handing over of the body, SDM Balwinder Singh Multani and DSP S.S. Mann were present on behalf of district administration.

The body was brought to India following relentless efforts by Mrs Laxmi Kanta Chawla, BJP MLA, and other politicians.

Mr Manjinderjit Singh Bitta, a former President of the Indian Youth Congress and convener of the Anti-Terrorist Front (ATF), wrapped the body of Satpal in the Tricolour and assured all possible help to the family of the deceased Satpal on behalf of the ATF.

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