M A I N   N E W S

Sentence over, yet languishing in Pakistan jails
Prabhjot Singh
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, November 16
The parents of 36 Punjab youths, who landed in Pakistani jails after their attempts to sneak into Europe through illegitimate means failed, have demanded the Union Government’s intervention for the release of their wards.

These youths, who were convicted for entering Pakistan without proper travel documents, have already completed their sentences. But their repatriation to India has been held up for want of documentation from their home state.

In a memorandum submitted to the President as well as the Prime Minister, the parents held travel agents responsible for the plight of their wards.

Taking a cue from the repatriation of seven Pakistani boys ordered on Children’s Day, they wanted the Union Government to use its diplomatic channels, to expedite the release of their wards.

“Of these Pakistanis who crossed into India by mistake have been repatriated why not our children, especially when they have undergone sentences,” they reasoned.

“They were misled by travel agents who took them to Greece from where they were caught and pushed back to Turkey. The police in Turkey tortured them to ascertain their identity and jailed them. After their release they were pushed back via Iran and ultimately they landed in Pakistan. They have already undergone enough of physical and mental torture, besides undergoing imprisonment, both in Turkey and Pakistan.”

“We want that we should be issued visas so that we can visit them and give them at least winter clothes. Many of our wards are in jails in Balochistan where it is extremely cold. They are being treated shabbily,” claimed the parents in their memorandum, which they submitted through the International Bhai Mardana Kirtan Society’s President, Mr H.S. Bhullar.

Three youngsters have been in a Balochistan jail since February though they were sentenced to three-month imprisonment. There are two groups of Indian youths in Mach jail in Balochistan — 13 came in the first group and 15 in the second. One of the boys in Kot Lakhpat jail has been there for three years though his companions have been released.

Three boys have been staying at Gurdwara Dera Sahib in Lahore for eight months now, the parents said in their memorandum.

The following Punjabi youths are languishing in Pakistan jails: Nishan Singh,Gurmail Singh, Hardeep Singh, Suraj Bhan, Surjeet Singh, Bhajan Singh, Surinder Pal, Amarjeet Singh, Kulwinder Singh, Jatinder Kumar, Charanjit Singh, Bharat Bhushan, Lakhwinder Singh, Jarnail Singh, Jaswant Singh, Kanwaljeet Singh, Devinder Singh, Ram Pal, Kulbir Singh, Lal Chand, Kuldeep Singh, Makhan Singh, Suresh Kumar, Manjeet Singh, Tejinder Singh, Lakhwinder Singh, Manjinder Singh, Sukhdev Singh, Harsha Kumar, Baljeet Singh, Tarsem Singh, Jagjit Singh, Avtar Singh, Joginder Singh and Balbir Chand.

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