Indian accused of spying in Pakistan acquitted after 28 years, returns home

Uttar Pradesh: After spending 28 years in a jail in Pakistan, a seventy-year-old man from Uttar Pradesh’s Kanpur city was back home after being acquitted of the charge.

The man identified as Shamsuddin spent eight years in a Pakistani prison after being accused of spying in Pakistan. His return set off Diwali-like celebrations in Kanpur’s congested Kanghi Mohal locality.

Quoting circle officer (Sisamau) Tripurari Pandey, a report by Hindustan Times, said that Shamsuddin was quarantined in Amritsar after he was released from a Pakistan jail on October 26.

“An Uttar Pradesh police team brought him to Kanpur on Monday afternoon and he was handed over to his family after brief questioning.”

The report said that there were hundreds to welcome Shamsuddin, who was choked with emotion and as he stepped into the narrow lane in Kanghi Mohal, his sister Shabeena fainted. His daughters Azra and Uzma cried on seeing him after a long time.

“I suffered a lot in that prison. My freedom is the best Diwali gift I could ask for,” the report quoted Shamsuddin as having said.

A shoemaker by profession, Shamsuddin had left India in 1992 after a “tiff” with some relatives and went to Pakistan on a 90-day visa.

After some time, he sent his family back to Kanpur and stayed on in Pakistan. In 2012, he was arrested on charges of spying and then spent eight years in a Pakistan prison. He was exonerated of the charge and released from Ladi jail in Karachi on October 26, the report said.

He entered India via the Attari border, but since the rules required him to complete 14-day quarantine, he was kept in Amritsar.

After completing all the formalities, a UP police team reached Amritsar on November 14 and brought him back on Monday morning.

“My country is the best; the Muhajirs (Indian immigrants) are not treated well (in Pakistan). I made a huge mistake by going there. The Indians are like enemies to them,” the report quoted Shamsuddin saying.

On his return, the policemen gave him sweets and garlanded him. He started sobbing and said this was the most memorable Diwali for him. His sister Shabeena said the prayers of the family were finally answered and everyone was elated to have him back.

Thanking the government of India, his brother Fahim said, had lost all hope of seeing him ever again at one stage. His two daughters, who were three and four years old when they last saw him, did not leave their father’s side after his return. His wife, Azra, who has not been keeping well, could not stop crying.

“I cannot explain what I am feeling about seeing him alive. I am going to take such care of him that he forgets all the suffering he underwent,” Azra was quoted in the report as saying.


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