Indian missing for 36 yrs to be released from Lahore jail on I-Day eve

Jaipur: Gajanand Sharma of Jaipur is likely to be released from Pakistani jail soon. He will be released from Lahore’s Lakhpat jail on August 14, a day before the Independence Day.

Had gone missing in 1982

Gajanand Sharma’s wife with his 40-year-old photograph

Gajanand, resident of Fatehram Ka Tiba, Nahargarh, Jaipur, had gone missing in 1982. Then, in 2018, in the month of April, Rajasthan’s Home Department received documents from Pakistan for confirmation of his Indian nationality. Then only his whereabouts came to be known to his family. The documents said that that he was lodged in a prison in Pakistan.

How he landed up in Pak still a mystery

According to documents received from Pakistan, a case under Foreigners’ Act was registered against Gajanand and he was sentenced to two months’ imprisonment sometime in January 2016. It is still a mystery how and when he reached Pakistan. Samod police reached Gajanand’s ancestral village on 7 May and contacted his son.

Minister assures Gajanand’s kin

Gajanand Sharma, as he looks now according to Pakistan government documents

On Thursday, Gajanand’s wife Makhni Devi and son Mukesh, along with Jaipur BJP MP Ramcharan Bohra, Hawamahal MLA Surendra Parik and other leaders met Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh in New Delhi,who assured them that Gajanand would be released on August 13.

Dainik Bhaskar’s initiative

Dainik Bhaskar was the first to disclose on May 23 that Gajanand was in a Pakistani prison. Quoting Bhaskar’s report, BJP national vice-president Avinsh Rai Khanna wrote to Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, seeking Indian government’s help in getting him released .

Now hope for Jugraj

25-year-old Jugraj, resident of Bundi district’s Rampuria village, had also gone missing about five years back. Recently, information was received that Jugraj was lodged in Karachi jail. Bhaskar had published a report about Jugraj as well and now efforts are on for his release also. Jugraj is reported to be mentally unstable. According to documents received from Pakistan, he had crossed the border and was caught while travelling to Jhelum from Lahore. Information about him was received soon after Gajanand.